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#gamergate antifeminism Dean Esmay entitled babies honey badgers misogyny MRA special snowflaking

Honey Badgers lose their lawsuit against the Calgary Expo and some of their fans think it could lead to civil war

The Honey Badger Brigade lawsuit (artist’s conception)

By David Futrelle

The Honey Badger Brigade’s infamous lawsuit against the Calgary Expo and The Mary Sue has ended, not with a bang but with a whimper. Well, rather a lot of whimpering, really.

The Honey Badger Brigade, as you may recall, is a collective of mostly female antifeminist weirdos known for their endless YouTube videos and their amazing ability to raise many tens of thousands of dollars from their gullible supporters on the flimsiest of pretexts.

They raised something on the order of $66,000 — as far as I can figure it based on the limited information currently available online — to fund a lawsuit against the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo after said Expo tossed them out in 2015, accusing them of “actively disregarding” the Expo’s efforts to provide “a positive and safe event” for attendees.

In the same lawsuit, the Badgers also went after the online publication The Mary Sue for allegedly contributing to Calgary Expo’s decision even though the publication didn’t weigh in on the Badgers until after they were expelled — apparently forgetting that time, as you probably know, moves forward not backwards. And did I mention that they hired  a disbarred lawyer to represent them in the case? 

Anyway, given the Badgers’ open support for the harassment campaign known as GamerGate, the expulsion seems pretty reasonable. And while I’m not a disbarred Canadian lawyer, their case against The Mary Sue always seemed utterly ridiculous to me.

Last Wednesday, the judge in the case finally handed down his decision, ruling against them on all counts. This evidently came as a giant shock to the Badgers, who had somehow managed to convince themselves — based on some things the judge had said earlier — that they were on the verge of a famous victory.

In a rambling, tendentious, and often quite baffling statement on the decision, Honey Badger Hannah Wallen complained that the judge had ignored “physical evidence” that the Badgers had presented and made other “errors in … reasoning” that could open the way to an appeal. Maybe a lawyer could make sense of her claims; they didn’t make much sense to me. Among her charges:

The judge indicated that his ruling was partly based on a misreading of the evidence regarding Calgary Expo personnel’s tweeted promotion of The Mary Sue’s claims about us, which he described as if they had come from an uninvolved 3rd party and not the Expo, and had been published on the Expo’s Twitter account by said 3rd party and not the Expo. 

Clear as a bell, huh?

In any case, the Honey Badgers haven’t yet decided whether to appeal or not, which I imagine will have less to do with the merits of their case than with their fundraising abilities.

The reaction from their fans has been, well, revealing. In the comments to a YouTube video on the Badgers’ defeat from MundaneMatt — one of the originators of GamerGate and a big Honey Badger fan — various commenters have suggested that there must have been some nefarious conspiracy behind the ruling.

“Miscarriage of justice right there,” declared someone called Yosharian, “and I wonder how much money TMS [The Mary Sue] paid that Judge?”

I’m going to take a wild guess and say zero?

Someone called Bulwark AC declared:

I was thinking … the judge was going to go in favor of Allison and the Honey badgers but that some Form of outside influence pressured the judge … to find for CalExpo. It could also have been political influence from the mayor or governor of the province that nudged the judge to give such a drastic reversal against even himself. Heck it could have been Trudeau’s office that heard an MRA group was in court. You know how profemale he is.

One “Harry Beaver” had some more incendiary accusations:

Judge is another satanist. Wake up people. We are fighting against pedos who rape babies and eat human flesh. That´s why they all stick together.

For chrisrus1965, the problem was a cultural one:

Never underestimate the power of innate gynocentrism to override anything.

Over in the Kotaku in Action subreddit — a former GamerGate hub that has basically continued on GamerGating without the label — a few commenters suggested that this terrible injustice against the Badgers was the sort of thing that could lead to vigilante action or even outright civil war. No, really.

According to someone called crystalflash,

This is how you get Vigilantism. Seriously. The Judge can just say, “nice evidence you have there, too bad I don’t care,” tosses it into the trash bin and goes off to instead (incorrectly) cite “evidence” the judge acquired on his own outside the courtroom. Like, holy fucking shit, why fucking bother with the courts at this point when a judge can just go off, cite his own “evidence” that was never entered officially a part of the trial, and ignore everything that has happened in the court room? Seriously, for the sake of the Canadian justice system, appeal the ruling, because if that is allowed to stand, justice is dead in Canada. When the fucking courts operate like this, how could I fault any Canadian citizen for putting justice in their own hands?

You honestly think it would be ok for someone to, I guess, go shoot people because a judge said it was ok for a game convention to toss the GamerGate-supporting Honey Badgers out for flaunting the policies they’d agreed to when signing up to sell stuff there? (While he Badgers argue they didn’t flaunt these policies, the exhibitor agreement they signed said that the Expo “hall have the full power in the interpretation and enforcement of all contract regulations contained herein.”)

PessimisticPaladin went further:

That or civil wars. If people think the government will let others abuse them, or abuse them by themselves then if you can get enough people they will make a new government.

I don’t like the option but if this shit keeps up so often it may well happen.

Dudes, do you people ever listen to yourselves? This is Special Snowflaking raised to the level of an Olympic sport.

Not all the commenters were on the Badgers’ side. Back on YouTube, some accused the Badgers of looking for an excuse to scam more money from their followers for yet another pointless legal battle. One commenter mocked them for hiring a “DISBARD LAWYER FOR THREE YEARS!!!”

But the most outspoken criticism came from someone who had formerly been a big supporter of the Badgers, especially in their early days; hell, by his account he was one of the founding members. I’m talking about a certain excitable ex-A Voice for Menner who now goes by the name Max Dean Esmay, aka Max Kolbe. Take it away, Dean Max Dean:

As the man who co-created the Honeybadger Brigade, who recruited Karen Straughan and Alison into it (they both hated the name when I pitched it at them) and who was instrumental in bringing in the fraudulent Hannah, all I can say is I’m hoping this is the END of their fraudulent case.

Well that’s quite a start.

They never had one and they’ve been playing their donors on it for two or three years now. The Expo owes them no more than a refund and what the contract specifies, plus maybe some minor damages at most.

Esmay, it turns out, has been railing against the Honey Badgers for months now — making videos of his own attacking his former friends, going on other internet shows to yell about them, and dropping who knows how many comments like this on YouTube and elsewhere.

These women ARE NOT Men’s Human Rights Activists, they’re money-hungry frauds pushing a ludicrously stupid ideology–and they’ve BACKSTABBED countless early supporters and countless current donors. They’re losing popularity because Alison Tieman, Karen Straughan, Hannah Wallen, Mike Stevenson (Stephenson? I forget) ARE FRAUDS. They’re also bullies EXACTLY like … Anita Sarkeesian–they deplatform, smear, lie about mischaracterize, mock, and lie about ANYONE who calls them out–especially anyone who was ever a supporter who began to question or criticize them.

That last bit is no doubt a reference to Karen Straughan’s attempts to rebut his various charges by questioning his mental stability.

Karen Straughan is a ripoff artist. So is Alison Tieman. They may seem nice. They may have even given you good personal advice. But they’re typical Delilahs, typical manipulative women.

The Biblical reference there is no fluke. Esmay has now more or less set aside his Men’s Rights “activism” in favor of promoting his own brand of militant Catholicism, which seems to involve a lot of yelling at and about atheists (and not just this dickish ones like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris).

But anyway, back to the Delilah Brigade:

They serve only themselves and have thrown COUNTLESS men who once supported them under the bus. We have testimonials for many and many of the Red Pill Religion volunteers and supporters are part of our team–because the Badgers screwed everybody, except their most cultish inner circle devotees.

The Honey Badger brigade does seem more that a little culty at times, but it’s a teensy bit ironic to see Esmay of all people attack them as such.

They’re not even the full Honeybadger Brigade that was in The Red Pill by Cassie Jaye. These three women and their male enablers are con artists and have been since before Red Pill Movie was released. And they’ve set back the cause of forwarding men’s human rights by years, with their antics and their VILE behavior towards so many men.

Here’s a thought for the Honey Badgers. Forget appealing the Calgary Expo suit. Sue Dean Esmay instead. And Dean, sue them right back. Fight amongst yourselves, you terrible people, and leave the rest of us alone.

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Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

BTW, does anyone know what’s up with the Right’s fixation on child trafficking lately? There’s Pizzagate, the Storm, and one of the things I heard deplorables say as they tried to make themselves out to be the good guys of the Kiddie Koncentration Kamp situation is “How do you know that all those thousands of people that we took all those thousands of kids from weren’t trafficking them? Prove to me that it wasn’t all human trafficking.”

Mm. There’s something important buried in that fact about morality, and about how we perceive ourselves and others. I think. My thoughts on this are riddled with bias, but maybe you can sort it out better.

If you think of people as being moral or immoral, in their hearts, you can do this. And that matches up with their behaviour a lot. Hillary’s evil, so you can tar anything to her that you like. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not, you can free-associate opinions into facts and it’s okay because she deserves punishment, because she’s inherently evil. Trump’s good (eugh), so you can forgive any manner of sins. It doesn’t even matter if he actually did the evil things he’s done, because he’s at his core, good.

If you think of actions as being moral or immoral, and as all people as being capable of taking those actions, you get a much more left-leaning behaviour. It doesn’t matter if Al Franken was an effective progressive and worked to help people; that doesn’t erase his abuses. It doesn’t matter that Hitler was a vegetarian, he was also a monster. People can carry ethical meaning and take ethical action, but they themselves aren’t inherently either.

So, like, is that what’s going on? It matches a lot – it explains why left-leaning groups have a reputation of being “weaker” and less cohesive, because they hold one another to standards instead of believing in an inherent goodness within them. The ability of right-leaning groups to endure hypocrisy without blinking is explained that way, too.

It’s not perfect by a long shot though. Honestly progressive people can also be star-struck with someone who’s done something bad and forgive them for all manner of sins they shouldn’t. So it’s not a dichotomy, it’s a spectrum indicating how much we ascribe our ethical behaviours to actions or to innate character.

I have a hunch that it’s connected to the ability to adsorb cognitive dissonance; the ability to hold two conflicting beliefs simultaneously. Left-leaning people seem to be better at this. They can believe that a person is inherently good and believe they’ve taken an evil action at the same time, introducing a dissonance that they know how to deal with. Which way it plays out of course depends on the individual, but they have a means of doing this that works to some degree. Right-leaning people have a harder time with this, and will have to do something to align the two conflicting beliefs together.

Hillary has a charity and is trying to do good things for people, but clearly it can’t actually be good because everyone says she’s evil. She must be part of a satanic pedophile human trafficking ring. Trump’s cheated on his wife, is the emblem of sin, is a bully, etc, but he’s inherently good because everyone in the group thinks so, so he must be okay. When they make excuses or fabricate lies, they aren’t lying to you, they’re lying to themselves, to make the dissonance go away.

This would explain why there’s much more religious fundamentalism on the right – they have a very hard time dealing with dissonance and integrating conflicting views. Also explains the prevalence of softer religion on the left and the ability to believe conflicting or multiple religious views at the same time that we tend to see.

Would also explain the fact that less extreme right-wingers are more interested in talking and conversing with the left, while pretty much all of the left is happy to bicker and argue with anyone. (Exceptions obviously apply based on personal situation). Someone who has a very hard time integrating conflicting ideas will avoid those ideas where possible. Also explains the tendency of right wing shit-disturbers to use insults and memes and ridicule. They can’t deal with the conflicting ideas directly, so they just discredit them.

This is all mostly a free-thinking ramble, but I’ve had it on my mind the past few days and this is what’s come together so far. I’m still really tentative on all of this to be honest – feels a little too just-so. More work needed.

And critique! Please, critique away.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@Schildfreja

Hmmm, I’m far more cynical of the way this trope came about. These people are just craven enough as operators to know that pedophilia is the one accusation that every normie will condemn while at the same time be very difficult to convincingly dispell. Because all you can really say in response to it is some form of “The hell?”

Meanwhile, the QAnon got its start on 4chan and migrated to 8chan, the place that prided itself in hosting child pornography! So it strikes me that these people really don’t even have a problem with child abuse; they just know that those of us with an ounce of empathy do and are banking on us doing their dirty work for them.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

@Katamount,

You’re right, but I think you’re misunderstanding me. I’m not talking about whether they’re being cynical about it. I’m talking about why they think the behaviour of using jokes and lies to discredit a thing is appropriate, instead of engaging the thing directly. We have to go deeper.

Oh, also,

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Ahhh, gotcha.

And sorry about the typo. 🙁

LindsayIrene
2 years ago

The little corner of Marvel fandom I occupy has been sideswiped by the Qanon/pizzagate/pedogate nonsense. Mike Cernovitch insinuated that the tweets that got James Gunn fired are confessions, not just edgelord attempts at humor, and the accusations of pedophilia rapidly spiraled outward. Things have calmed down a little, but not before a fellow fan I know was driven off-line by trolls who doxxed her so they could tell her contacts that she is a pedophile. The speed and virulence of these on-line mobs is terrifying to witness up close.

Freemage
Freemage
2 years ago

Scildfreja: Your observations match my own, for whatever that’s worth. Furthermore, it always seems that when a progressive falls into the ‘good person’ trap, they’re defending some specific behavior that is explicitly regressive in nature–overt sexism, racism, etc. I consider Bill Clinton one of the key examples of this–his behavior (having sex with a subordinate, in a scenario with utterly skewed power dynamics) should have been a rallying cry on the Left for his resignation. But he was one of the ‘good guys’, so his abusive behavior towards women was given a pass. There was also a flat-out rape accusation against him, with details and sufficient consistency that it absolutely should’ve been enough to derail his candidacy, but the Dems just ignored it to win battles. Various scandals in the atheist community also go along this line–[Serious White Dude] is an atheist, so he must be good, and any racism, sexism, etc, that he puts forward must be forgiven, and maybe even be given serious consideration.

Straight-up financial or political corruption, once exposed, is far more likely to result in simply being abandoned to the court’s mercy. Whereas a Republican can be shown to be neck-deep in dirty deals, and still be protected by that same ‘good person’ trope.

So it would seem that conservative and regressive politics, in general, are more likely to produce that kind of reaction in fans. People who hold such views broadly are forgiven just about anything, while those who are valued for their ostensibly progressive views are given passes when it comes to feeding axes of oppression.

tim gueguen
2 years ago

Yeah, I’m sure there’s going to be civil war in Canada because some group most Canadian right wingers have never heard of didn’t win a lawsuit against a fandom convention. I’m sure Louis Riel and the other organisers of the Northwest Rebellion would be arm in arm with them.
/s

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@tim gueguen

Awesomesauce Canadian history ref! *highfive*

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
2 years ago

BTW, does anyone know what’s up with the Right’s fixation on child trafficking lately? There’s Pizzagate, the Storm, and one of the things I heard deplorables say as they tried to make themselves out to be the good guys of the Kiddie Koncentration Kamp situation is “How do you know that all those thousands of people that we took all those thousands of kids from weren’t trafficking them? Prove to me that it wasn’t all human trafficking.”

I reckon Scildfreja Unnyðnes has a pretty good analysis, but it doesn’t really get to the nub of the Why pedophilia? question. I think if we throw in the disgust-empathy, conservative-liberal responses* we might get somewhere.

If you add up heightened disgust sensitivity and lowered empathy ethics, it’s pretty easy for nasty right-wingers to accuse their opponents (of any political colouration) of the worst behaviours with the worst motivations. They know that the disgust response in other right wingers will make them less likely to apply any ethical or empathetic response –because saying Child Abuse! is basically like winding up a clockwork toy. Wind up, put it down and off it goes automatically, no hesitation, no backward glances.

*https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141029124502.htm

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
2 years ago

Come to think of it, disgust v. empathy might go some way — but not the whole distance — in looking at Freemage’s examples.

Financial and political corruption doesn’t hit the disgust button for right wingers in much the same way that sex (any kind of sex) does hit the conservative eewww disgust button but doesn’t usually hit liberal sensitivities unless there is some issue of unfairness, exploitation or power imbalance to arouse righteous indignation at the perpetrator.

Liberal empathy-justice-fairness buttons are pushed when financial and political corruption occurs because of the cascading effects on people with no financial or political power. That cynical right-wing response that you’re only complaining because you missed out on the unfair financial or other advantages is a classic example of the lowered empathy response.

Yutolia the Green Hash Thing
Yutolia the Green Hash Thing
2 years ago

“Disbard”? What, is he the anti-Shakespeare?

Mooncustafer
Mooncustafer
2 years ago

Spitballing possible explanations—
1. Accusations of sexual impropriety tend to stick, because even if there’s no evidence, spread enough rumours and people will start to think “well, there’s no smoke without fire.”

2. They know a lot of the general public aren’t bothered by extramarital sex or same-sex relationships as long as they’re between consenting adults, but everyone’s still disgusted by child and/or animal abuse.

3. The recent move to take rape victims seriously is a good thing, but trolls have a way of adapting and weaponizing social justice concepts, and I wonder if they’ve started to think “well now the Left has to believe *any* rape accusation, even if it’s made by an unrelated third party with no testimony from the alleged victim(s) — and if they don’t, we can then call them hypocrites, so it’s a win-win for us.”

ColeYote
ColeYote
2 years ago

It could also have been political influence from the mayor or governor of the province that nudged the judge to give such a drastic reversal against even himself. Heck it could have been Trudeau’s office that heard an MRA group was in court

Okay, first off, lol @ implication AVFM’s token women are important enough to warrant that, secondly, I’d like to know how he thinks this happened considering Canadian politicians have basically no authority over the judiciary.

Marshmallow Stacy Maximal (formerly bluecat)
Marshmallow Stacy Maximal (formerly bluecat)
2 years ago

I really like Scildfreja Unnyðnes’ take on it. Maybe it matches my biases and that’s why it seems true to me, but it also chimes with some of the research I’ve seen into authoritarian thinking: a tendency to see everything that isn’t good as evil, everything that doesn’t agree with me as not only wrong but as wilfully wrong, because ultimately motivated by evil, and everything that isn’t “us” as the enemy (and, it turns out, often some of “us” turn out to be the enemy too: fun isn’t it?)

Also I’m sure there’s a degree of cynicism about it, from the leaders if not the followers. It’s something we can all look good about hating, isn’t it? It’s something that not only makes people angry (and rightly so): it’s also something you can channel your already existing anger into. Pointing and saying “get the paedophiles!” is a demonstrably good way to gather an angry mob, and it’s also something that’s apparently pretty hard to nay-say. It takes courage to stand against the mob and say, Yes, X may be a convicted paedophile who has done his time and should be left in peace.

About 18 or 19 years ago a newspaper in Britain basically did the “get the paedos!” thing, inspiring a certain amount of mob violence against people who might have been paedos (ones who had served sentences and been released), might have looked a bit like someone who was, or had a similar name, or was a paediatrician, or lived in the house someone had lived in previously. In at least one case, the mob burned out a family whose children were the victims of a paedophile. And the government said and did absolutely nothing about it, when afaik there is an offence of inciting violence, and a predictable consequence was that it became harder for convicted paedophiles to be managed by probation and social services. This was a paper which also went on a lot about “barely legal” girls who were daughters of celebrities, and actually underage children looking “all grown up”, so as well as the mob aspect there was also a distinct whiff of projection about it all.

I don’t think it’s always been this way: I think we’ve been brought here. In that case the government was so in awe of the power of that particular media empire that they could basically get away with whatever they liked. Finding out what you can get away with seems to be a big part of politics at the moment, worldwide.

Now the big right wing thing is “Muslim Grooming Gangs” – in which the key word for many seems to be Muslim, rather than grooming.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Reflecting on the conversation regarding morality, I can’t help but think that cynicism plays a larger role. For instance, if you were to confront the average QAnon Red Hat about Donald Trump’s improprieties, I doubt they’d actually deny too much of them. “Yeah, he’s a tax-dodging boorish asshole with a string of failed marriages, but he’s making America great again!” For them, this means kicking out brown people, but if they think for a second Trump can deliver, they’ll cling to him until their fingers are bloody. Their support of Trump is cult-like, but at the same time it’s entirely transactional; the moment a better snake-oil salesman comes along, Trump will be yesterday’s news.

And because their support is transactional, they think their opposition operates in the same manner. “Trump’s in it for power; Hillary must be in it for power, too! Every billionaire has a dumb foundation to make themselves look better and curry favour with elites, Hillary’s is no different! I mean, people don’t do this kind of thing altruistically, amirite?”

I think this is part of what made people so uncomfortable with Hillary Clinton: she didn’t own the trappings of the career politician that everyone perceives that she should have. She continually tried to get away from that mold, awkwardly discussing her long policy experience while at the same time showing genuine human compassion and frailties. It was almost like the viewing audience was demanding her to be as slick and polished as a Ted Cruz knowing how long she was in Washington, but were confused by stories of her being actually a pretty down-to-earth educated policy wonk with her own foibles and follies (and problematic foreign policy) with what appears to be a pretty altruistic Foundation.

Trump, by contrast, was able to proclaim outsider status while pronouncing that he’s one of the elites he demonized. “I know how these people operate! I’m one of them! I’m just going to do the dirty work for you instead of them!” He fully owned the transactional nature of his support and just said “I”ll deliver on this transaction where others failed.”

And if everything is transactional in this manner, you want to take any advantage you can, including lying, cheating and stealing. After all, when Hillary called Trump on his tax avoidance, what was Trump’s response? “That makes me smart.”

solecism
solecism
2 years ago

@Katamount

Yeah, that makes sense. A transactional model toward relationships and power certainly explains part of the mindset (ewww).

@Scildfreja

Innate characteristics vs behaviors also makes sense. Pretty much the fixed vs growth mindsets. Not surprising that people who prefer regressive/oppressive ideologies align with fixed mindset of good/evil regardless of actual behaviors displayed.

I think now that we’re in a post-Godwin’s Law era, pedophiles remain the only target everyone can agree to hate (even if Some People really don’t have a problem with it after all. *cough* Roy Moore *cough*). I mean, it used to be Nazis were the go-to, but with open (neo-)Nazis running for office in the Republican party, what’s left? Plus, the religious right-wingers have done such a job of conflating homosexuality and pedophilia, I am not sure that their base can truly distinguish the difference. So then it’s not just pedophilia but sex trafficking of children used to whip up their base. Thus these utterly ridiculous conspiracy theories being swallowed down whole without blinking.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Although now that I think about other antagonistic relationships between groups (namely TERFs and SWERFs), I’m not sure that it’s transactions that they’re using to justify the vehemence of their opposition. That one strikes me as entirely ideological: “Gender is a social construct that the patriarchy takes advantage of and therefore anybody who views gender as an important part of their identity (read: trans and NB folk) must be working on behalf of the patriarchy too.” I’ve actually found it quite astonishing the lengths to which TERFs will go to harass completely random and names trans individuals; it takes some very powerful dehumanization to accomplish the kind of demonization I’ve seen on Twitter.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@Katamount:
And the transactional model feeds into something I’ve commented about before. The whole movement to abolish Roe v. Wade has been a rallying cry to actively tie the religious movements in the U.S. to the Republican party, starting with Nixon and made explicit by Reagan.

As others have noted, the real core of the Religious Right wasn’t Roe v. Wade, it was Brown v. Board of Education, and more explicitly Bob Jones University v. United States. (Prior to that, abortion was more of a Catholic issue, not a U.S. Protestant issue.) The modern ‘pro-life’ movement was created because the leaders wanted to make the religious groups explicitly partisan but didn’t want to admit publicly that it was purely for racist reasons.

So for a couple of generations the entire movement was being led by people who were lying about their actual aims, as well as not wanting to actually overturn the law they said they were going to overturn, because doing that would lose the momentum of their voting base. We’ve had decades of people brought up in that toxic stew, not realizing that their ‘leaders’ were just using them for other purposes, and getting more and more frustrated that their demands haven’t been met even when ‘they’ were in power. Except now they’re old enough to be in power themselves.

These people have no idea what it means to actually run things long term, they just know that other people have been doing things that they don’t like (whether or not that’s actually true or just what they’ve been told) and now they have a chance for revenge. They’re still frustrated that getting their way isn’t as easy as they thought because they never really grasped that there were reasons things were done in certain ways, in many cases, again, because they’ve been lied to for decades.

The Republican party has been riling up the tiger for decades to get it running in the ‘right’ direction. When Obama became president, the tiger slipped its leash. The Tea Party and Freedom Caucus were the near-inevitable result of decades of the Republican Party going ‘trust us, we’ll fix everything when we get into power’ and then not fixing what they said they would (both because they’d lose the carrot and the power that came with it, and because they were lying about what they wanted to ‘fix’). They’ve raised a couple of generations of people who are ‘mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore’.

And what they’re mad at are, essentially, the basic principles of compromise and respect for others that make any large-scale society actually work.

So they voted for Trump, because he’s just as angry at anything that stops him from doing what he wants as they are, and he’s disconnected enough from the reality of what he’s allowed to do that they feel he can do it.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
2 years ago

With all this talk of morality and authoritarianism, it’s time to trot out Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians again. https://theauthoritarians.org/donald-trump-and-authoritarian-followers/#more-21

Apart from the very easy to read summary of current/ Trumpian authoritarianism in the US, there are also links to get the full text, which is a pretty easy (but depressing) read.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

solecism:

Plus, the religious right-wingers have done such a job of conflating homosexuality and pedophilia, I am not sure that their base can truly distinguish the difference. So then it’s not just pedophilia but sex trafficking of children used to whip up their base. Thus these utterly ridiculous conspiracy theories being swallowed down whole without blinking.

To me, it seems there’s now really rampant conflation of pedophilia/child abuse with sex trafficking, organized crime and shady elite child brothels.

It’s like children don’t get sexually abused in their everyday environment by ordinary people; they must be kidnapped and kept in a basement somewhere that’s part of a nationwide child brothel network. That way, it makes an exciting narrative. It feeds on and reinforces existing stereotypes about pedophilia. It serves to other the evil, as well as demonize the other.

Aleph
Aleph
2 years ago

@Jenora Feurer

If you don’t mind me asking, where I can read about this further as I know I need a source when writing something about that, just curious.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@Aleph:
Honestly, some of it is stuff I’ve picked up and mentally assembled over years, so it’s hard to point out one place where it all comes together.

That said, Fred Clark at Slacktivist is one of the better sources; he’s an ‘old-school’ evangelical Christian who’s been paying attention to the way that particular culture has been bent to purely partisan ends over the last few decades. He mostly became famous on the Internet for absolutely ripping apart the ‘Left Behind’ books (including pointing out that not only were they horrible books with horrible plots and horrible characters that bore no relation to actual living people, but they also had horrible theology).

One of his better-known and quoted pieces is The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal where he points out that most of the modern ‘pro-life’ movement dates back less than forty years. (Well, thirty years from when he wrote it back in 2012.)

For a more recent (last month) article which goes over some of this and has more references, take a look at The con-game of anti-abortion partisanship that replaced Christianity has been so successful that we forget how recently it was invented. He also has a current series on ‘The MAGA Commission’ where he points out the apparent hypocrisy in how people who are supposed to ‘spread The Word’ can also be so blatantly anti-immigration (before noting that if you assume a ‘white saviour’ is needed, there’s not necessarily any blatant hypocrisy).

A more detailed political history is at Politico in The Real Origins of the Religious Right with the sub-heading of “They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.”

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
2 years ago

It makes me laugh, in an ironic way at least, nothing funny about it, when these far right lunatics sling off about paedophilia, when some of their favourite sons actively advocate for it. Of course, the big bad taking the White females away from the pure bred patriots are “brown people” – and that of course means racist rants and vilification (Tommy Robinson, I’m looking at you) but the White “christian ™” evangelical brigade sit in rapt awe at filth like this….

https://www.celebdirtylaundry.com/2013/phil-robertson-pedohile-duck-dynasty-pedophilia-americans-against-the-tea-party-video-1228/

Shudder….

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
2 years ago

@jenora

I’m an avid viewer of Frank Schaeffer’s blog. He, as a former “christian right” dupe knows exactly how this white evangelical political movement came to be, as his late father his namesake Francis Schaeffer was instrumental in creating it.

https://frankschaefferblog.com

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Speaking of breathtakingly stupid legal shenanigans, anyone see this post that’s making the rounds?

https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/95c289/ma_late_brothers_partner_suing_family_for_money/?sort=new

A gay man died of cancer, left most of his money to his partner, his religious right homophobic family decided they deserved the money over the partner and just stole it. Now the OP is baffled that they’re getting sued for the money they’ve taken. It’s really something.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@WWTH
Saw that one. Poor OP’s sister got badgered into it, and with how much money that was I’d be surprised if she didn’t see jail time.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The most incredible part to me was the part where the OP said he didn’t even know how the partner saw the will.

comment image

Gif also applies to everyone in the Trump orbit.

Pagan Reader - Misandrist Spinster

They stole $850K and OP is shocked that the man is upset! And he thought it wasn’t a big deal, after all their parents fed the late brother while he was growing up. Dontchaknow that fulfilling your parental responsibilities means that you can steal as much money from the deceased’s beloved? Jeez, the sister sounds like the only decent member of that family.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

Wow, that thread was one hell of a read. It’s like the Trumpkins think that since Trump can get away with shamelessly flouting the law, all the rest of the racist, bigoted, homophobic chucklefucks true, morally upright Americans can also just ignore the law whenever it’s convenient to do so.

I hope the consequences of their actions land on their heads like a ton of bricks. It’s kind of a shame that the sister and supposedly least-awful member of the clan will be facing the brunt of the criminal consequences for succumbing to pressure from the rest of her disgusting family, but as executor of the will she should have known damn well the consequences of breaking the law to steal inheritance money.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@Virgin Mary:
I’m familiar with Frank Schaeffer; he has a blog on Patheos as well (Why I Still Talk to Jesus – In Spite of Everything) which hasn’t been updated in a year; but as you say, he has rather first-hand knowledge of what was going on at the time.

Sometimes, like Frank Schaeffer, or Megan Phelps-Roper (granddaughter of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church) the children of such upbringings realize just how toxic the environment is and leave even when it means leaving everything they knew behind. Of course, then you get folks like Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, who is more blatantly a grifter and political hack than his father was.

@WWTH:

didn’t even know how the partner saw the will.

As the last non-admin post on that thread notes, wills are public in the state of Massachusets; anybody who knew about it could get access to read it. Even if the man hadn’t shown it to his partner previously (which he probably had), there’s nothing stopping him from getting it.

Most of the comments I read were along with what you said, of the ‘how could you have ever thought this was a good idea’ line. Up to and including one person thinking it had to be a troll post because who would be so stupid as to ask for legal advice in an open forum while publicly admitting to breaking the law as well as any human decency.

LindsayIrene
2 years ago

Here’s an interesting article about the weaponizing of pedophilia accusations.

I was abused, many of the girls I grew up with were abused. It was not a conspiracy. It was a small town with the typical small town code of silence. It was the low value put on girls and women. It was the ‘boys will be boys’ attitude. It was the notion that fathers own their children. It was the belief that a 12-year-old girl could already be a slut, and that one could do as they please with a slut. It was parents wanting children to be seen and not heard. It was the idea that adults are always right and children are always wrong.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@LindsayIrene:

Where false pedophilia charges go, genocide and repression follow.

And given the scale of the “QAnon” BS …

This is really worrying. It’s one more sign pointing to a new Holocaust being possibly imminent.

Stop the world, I want to get off …

Aleph
Aleph
2 years ago

@Jenora Feurer thank you, this will become handy in the future.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@Aleph:
You’re welcome. Frank Schaeffer, mentioned above, is another one to look at, because he quite literally was there when a lot of the partisanship was being set up, as his father was doing much of the setting up. (On the down side, I find his writing a little overdone at points because this is obviously very personal for him.)

A number of people both inside and outside have been watching all this build up for quite some time. Unfortunately, as I said, I suspect a number of the people who were always primarily grifters didn’t really understand just how out of control things would get once they’d raised a generation who didn’t really grasp that it was all grifting, and the people they’d scared into a mob ran them over.

Or, perhaps, like a lot of the big corporate looter types, they just figured that they’d already be dead and gone before the problems they’d created bit them in the ass.

Gerald Fnord
Gerald Fnord
2 years ago

Did the H.B.B. suggest that the Mary Sues had access to the Obama Time Machine? (You know, the one Mad Doctor Soros built to put that fake birth announcement into the Honolulu Advertiser in 1961 [fifty-seven years back to the day, tomorrow, as I write this].)

@Cyborgette:
Thank-you for intervening. For what it might be worth, the advice I heard over the radio from an anti-racism activist was to face the receiver of the abuse and not the abuser, to assist the one (‘Are you o.k.?’) rather than to confront the other, the notion being that displayed association with the receiver lowers the readiness of the abuser—predators prefer the isolated.

@Lumipuna:
‘If you want to see who’ s most likely to abuse your child, look at pictures of friends and family…and in the mirror.’

@Katamount:
I’ve agreed for decades about cynicism, since someone I challenged for backing an incredibly corrupt politician said ‘They’re all corrupt, but he‘ s entertaining.’. Politically, this leads to the equivalent of equal treatment of a cop who takes a doughknot freely given by a shopkeeper and one who does hits for the Mafia.

@Scildfreja Unnyðnes et al:
I think the overwhelmingly Calvinist nature of the Religious Right is also in play. Calvinism says that 0.)all humanity is corrupt, too corrupt to even truly want salvation without grace, 1.)grace is given to some, the Elect, and not others, the Preterite, a.k.a. the Saved and the Damned, 2.)these conditions are unchangeable—the Elect can’t lose their Salvation, the Damned can’t be saved, no matter what they do.

The belief in ‘total depravity’ reïnforces the cynicism about corruption referenced above; the fixed membership in Club Paradise and the Club Inferno bolsters the human tendency to treat offences from Our Team differently….

(Apologies for the length; I’ll try to be quiet now.)

Allison Kaas
Allison Kaas
2 years ago

Godspeed, honey badger. May you get the justice you deserve, and continue to fight on the side of good against female hegemony and toxic femininity.

NelC
NelC
2 years ago

Some people use ‘flaunt’ that way, but that’s a straight-up mistake, since that’s the meaning of ‘flout’. One flaunts one’s new suit, i.e. shows it off; one flouts the rules, i.e. disregards them.

By all means carry on with what’s comfortable to you, though. No possible confusion can arise by using ‘flaunt’ that way, I’m sure, and mild harassment by pedants and proscriptivists is a small price to pay for… whatever.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ Allison

May you get the justice you deserve

But they did. There’s an article about it at the top of this page.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

I’m glad to hear that they lost. They were a pox in the Canadian comic scene as they had nothing to do with comics or entertainment, you know what CCEE stands for (Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. I don’t like the organizers of the comic convention and they don’t like me but they had a right to do what they did at the convention whether or not the HBB agrees with that or not. They had a contract they should have read but chosen not to.

All of this talk about the judge being biased is BS, no one has bothered to read the court documents on this. The only reason why they complained so much and tried to say the judge was biased is that they know they cannot afford another trial and no one in their community who donated to them trust them with more money after the last fiasco with their funds. All they have now are just their whining on Youtube and other media.