Sunday, February 21, 2016
RRip! It takes a woman to rip another woman to pieces
Feminism on display: A woman rises to prominence in Australia and feminist academic lawyer Skye Saunders sneeringly responds (below). She is on a slow burn below about a conservative woman calling herself a "girl". Feminists hated Margaret Thatcher and Fiona Nash seems to be next in line. If feminists were primarily interested in empowering women you would think that a woman rising to power would be celebrated. That it is not shows that Feminists are Leftists first. Hate is what drives them
"Fiona Nash blazes trail for Nats women," declared the headlines this week.
The embodiment of authentic practicality and fortitude, the newly appointed Nationals deputy leader addressed the media with unwavering confidence. Flanked by a border of supportive crisp shirts and ties, the first woman in Australian history to hold a leadership position in the Nationals affirmed that it was an exciting time for regional -Australia.
But there was a subtle moment during Thursday night's media conference that signified a further ripeness for change.
It happened when Nash was asked: "How will this be a different leadership?" Her response, infused with a tinkly laugh, was: "Probably one of the most obvious differences - I'm a girl."
I am a girl.
A common colloquial term for describing a female adult, playing on enchantment of youth and fresh vulnerability.
Glorious female friendships adopt the term girl to signal so many events of the heart - -indeed, doing anything "with the girls" invokes familiarity and fun. A "coffee with the girls" can be soul food.
But the context in which the term is used is so important.
"I am a girl" is a sentence that trembles under the weight of all that it signifies for women.
Anne Summers reminds that women have gradually acquired a "kind of gut knowledge" that they are outsiders.
To be a girl is not to be a man. Literally, in fact, to be a girl is not even to be a woman.
When a woman refers to herself as a girl, she paints herself as doubly vulnerable.
In some contexts - such as between friends - to give of certain vulnerability is a precious human gift. But in the public moment that the deputy leader of the nationals (elect) referred to herself as a girl, she identified as a junior form of a woman - and the subconscious shift in the conference dynamic was immediate.
Nestled between the six or seven men, there was the girl.
It has been said that women who work in male-saturated -environments are essentially "damned if they do, and damned if they don't". That is, they are damned if they don't impress as being as "good as the men", but they must not threaten the social order by becoming too far removed from the stereotypical feminine persona.
Consciously or not, Nash disarmed any threat to the traditional gender order on Thursday night by choosing a word to describe her status as a National leader that simply did not do her justice - a girl.
Inherent in her response was a familiar echo of the disarming way that women must carry themselves in traditionally male rural spaces, using gender as a tool to express suitable humility and self-deprecation.
More than 15 years ago in The Real Matilda, Miriam Dixson showed that as a dominant social group, men generally had been able to get women to conform to the most convenient definitions of their essential character.
It's time that we as women become serious about changing the dialogue. The deputy leader of the Nationals (elect) is now in a position to identify publicly as an esteemed politician and effective leader of our country.
In doing so, she will exemplify the natural confidence and dignity that we must foster in all Australian women, and particularly those in the male-dominated rural sphere. It truly is time to shine.
Why Apple’s Tim Cook shouldn’t crack the iPhone for the FBI
If the present administrtion were law-abiding and respectful of everybody's rights, maybe they could be trusted. But they are not
America is in a populist frame of mind this election year, making it a lousy time to root for Apple Inc.’s chief executive, Tim Cook. He’s a millionaire a few hundred times over, a Silicon Valley liberal whose company has parked about $200 billion in profits outside the United States to avoid paying taxes on them. In short, Cook’s the sort of guy that Republicans and Democrats alike can merrily despise.
Worse yet, Cook is the sort of guy who says no to the FBI, as it investigates last year’s brutal terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. His refusal to allow investigators to look at the data locked in the cellphone of a terrorist could undermine the security of Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, but it also could deprive the FBI of vital evidence.
It’s the latest in a series of showdowns between the feds and the tech industry over when and how the government should get access to data we don’t want anyone to see. By taking a stand now, when it hurts, Cook could go a long way toward protecting Americans’ privacy for a long time to come.
On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge in California ordered Apple to help the FBI break into an iPhone 5C used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife murdered 14 people in San Bernardino in December. The massacre was reminiscent of the far bloodier November 2015 Paris rampage, carried out by supporters of the radical group Islamic State. But so far, there’s no evidence of a connection to the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.
Still, the FBI wants to make sure by reviewing passcode-protected data locked in Farook’s iPhone. Investigators might find e-mails, photos, maps — a horde of documents that might reveal direct links to other bad guys, here or abroad.
The iPhone 5C, released in 2013, originally featured a version of Apple’s iOS operating system that was relatively easy to hack. But since 2014, Apple has released two upgrades, iOS 8 and iOS9. These programs encrypt all data stored on the phone and on newer models, using a system so tough it’s supposed to be unbreakable — even by Apple itself.
The second piece of Apple’s security is the passcode. The operating system has a feature that limits the number of incorrect numerical codes that can be entered. Punch five incorrect codes into your iPhone, and you’ll have to wait one minute before trying again. As an even tougher option, users can set a self-destruct feature. At 10 misses, all files are deleted. (The FBI has no way of knowing whether Farook turned on this option.)
In October, in response to a similar demand filed by FBI agents in a New York drug investigation, Apple said that it couldn’t possibly comply. “For devices running iOS 8 or higher, Apple would not have the technical ability to do what the government requests,” according to a document filed by Apple’s legal team.
The California court order suggests this wasn’t quite true, or that the government has recently uncovered a weak spot in the iPhone’s defenses. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym’s order indicates that she believes Apple can crack its own phones, and it lays out a plan of attack.
Pym wants Apple to create a customized version of its operating system, designed to run on Farook’s phone and no other. This software will be somehow injected into the phone without interfering with any other data stored on it. It will then deactivate the feature that limits the number of incorrect passwords that can be entered.
The judge also wants Apple to add software that lets the FBI rapidly feed multiple passwords into the phone. Apple would retain a fig leaf of credibility, because the company wouldn’t actually crack the iPhone’s encryption, which scrambles data so that it can’t be read by hackers. Instead, it would lower the phone’s passcode defense, so the FBI could launch a “brute force” attack — trying millions of possible passwords until something clicks.
In an open letter published on Apple’s website Wednesday, vowing to appeal the court order, Cook never denies that Apple is capable of doing what the court demands; he merely warns that such a program is “something we consider too dangerous to create.”
And Cook is right.
Does anybody believe that this tool will be used just this once? The USA Patriot Act, created to fight terrorism, was deployed against all manner of common criminals. Create an iPhone hacking tool, and every police force in America will want a copy. Why would any judge refuse?
For years, US technology companies have resisted demands from thuggish nations like China that want backdoor access to their products, so they can spy on subversive citizens. If companies give in over here, expect similar pressure from over there.
If Pym’s order stands, every US tech company is one court order away from sacrificing its customers’ privacy. American firms could lose billions in sales as consumers worldwide seek out alternative products from companies that US courts can’t touch. The popular secret-message program Telegram, for example, comes from Germany; the file encryption software maker Silent Circle is based in Switzerland. Good luck with those subpoenas.
The files on Farook’s phone may or may not contain valuable evidence. But the phone has already told investigators who Farook called and when, as well as the Internet sites he visited. That data, which could identify other terrorists, is on file, unencrypted, at the phone company, available to any police officer with a court order.
The Apple-FBI clash looks like the biggest pitched battle yet in a decades-old conflict between tech innovators and police. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration tried to outlaw encryption altogether, giving up only when it saw that such a ban wasn’t enforceable. More recently, the FBI has begged Congress for laws requiring “back doors” in encryption software, to let the agency monitor suspicious communications that would otherwise be indecipherable.
But the techies rightly reply that back doors swing both ways. They’re open to police, but also to vandals, criminals, even terrorists. A court order forcing Apple to crack open its system would make iPhones less secure. And legally, it could set a precedent from which our digital privacy may never fully recover.
So much for populism. This time, I’m rooting for the rich guy.
Major Swedish Newspaper Demands Facebook Censor ‘Offensive’ Posts
Sweden’s second largest newspaper – Dagens Nyheter – has claimed that Facebook must address concerns about sexist, homophobic and xenophobic content, and that the social media site must actively work to censor comments from users that fall under the broad rubric of “hate speech”.
According to the paper’s cultural affairs journalist Bjorn Wiman: “The large network company’s refusal to publicly respond to questions about these guidelines – and our acceptance of this silence – is one of the greatest scandals,” he wrote in an editorial for the newspapers website DN.se.
“Facebook and other big network companies still have the ability to clean up in this quagmire of sexism, racism and serious threats of violence. That they do not is incomprehensible,” he continues while simultaneously talking about how Sweden has had freedom of the press for 250 years enshrined into law, decades before the American first amendment that guarantees free speech and freedom of the press.
“The events in Stockholm a few weeks ago, when a lynch mob pulled through the city in search of people with “foreign” appearance, shows what it looks like when internet hate is stepping out into the street,” he claims in response to native Swedes who patrolled the Stockholm train station, which by witness accounts has transformed into a centre for migrants who sexually harass women and young girls and often get into violent encounters with young Swedish men and even police.
Facebook, he laments, has become a haven for people to express views that are contrary to popular opinion. He describes threats of sexual assault, threats of violence, and even murder. Mr. Wiman says that anyone who reports harassment of a sexual or violent nature is simply ignored by Facebook even though it clearly violates the Facebook terms of service (TOS). Wiman makes no specific examples of harassment either to himself or anyone in particular however.
His views represent a growing crowd of European left wing, pro migrant journalists who want to curb free speech in the name of political correctness by claiming harassment by users online. German journalist Dunja Hayali, also a fiercely pro migrant reporter, accused Facebook users of harassment and a German judge threatened her critics with a €250,000 fine if they continued to comment on her Facebook page.
The Swedes are also pressing for more censorship of the press who report on uncomfortable stories relating to the migrant crisis. The case of the young woman who was murdered at an asylum home by an underage migrant who turned out to be an adult, was allegedly censored by Swedish government officials who asked the Daily Mail to block access to their reporting on the story to internet users originating in Sweden.
Even police in Sweden are slowly admitting a culture of silence and of censorship when it comes to reporting migrant crimes like sex mobs who molested girls without consequence at a music festival last year.
More black racism
Last week, Christopher Marquez, a highly decorated, former Marine was brutally attacked at a McDonalds in Washington, D.C, by advocates of the black lives matter movement.
"They saw me and crowded around ... and they started asking me if I believed black lives matter,” Marquez told the paper. “I was ignoring them, then they started calling me racist."
At that point, Marquez said he left the McDonald's, but was knocked unconscious by a blow to his head. When he came to, his pants were ripped and his wallet, which contained $400 in cash, three credit cards and VA medical card among other items, was missing.
Marquez served in the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2011. He was awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device for valor during the battle for Fallujah, Iraq, in November 2004. Marquez is one of two Marines depicted carrying then-1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal out of the so-called "Hell House" in a famous photograph.
"I believe this was a hate crime and I was targeted because of my skin color,” Marquez, who is Hispanic, told the Daily Caller.
“Too many of these types of attacks have been happening against white people by members of the black community and the majority of the main stream media refuses to report on it."
It is certainly unfathomable how someone could attack an American hero who put his life on the line, without hesitation, to uphold American principles and values. The war should be over for Marquez, but now he must face another battle against a confused, racist enemy. This is an unspeakable tragedy.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.