Sunday, January 28, 2018

Presidents Club: 'The easy moral outrage of the online mob'

I agree with Brendan O'Neill, below, that there has been a recent explosion of intolerance for a type of sexual behaviour that has long been seen as fairly normal.  So he sees the much publicized activities at the President's Club dinner as undeserving of the condemnation they have received. 

He seems to have missed an important point nonetheless.  The waitresses hired for the occasion were ordered to wear fairly titillating garb -- short skirts, black high heels and corset-like belts etc.  So the men can hardly be blamed for taking that as a cue.  Nonetheless the behaviour was ungentlemanly and discourteous in some instances so I deplore that

Another week, another explosion of moral outrage.

Another moralistic hissy fit online, as the Twitterati, commentariat and other new-fangled guardians of decency once again fume against people for behaving badly or thinking differently.

This time the target of their long fingers and seemingly inexhaustible fury has been the Presidents Club.

For those Brits who live under a rock — lucky you — the Presidents Club is an annual get-together of rich and well-meaning men to raise money for charity.

It is in its 33rd year. It takes place in plush, posh venues like the Dorchester in Park Lane. And as befits a coming together of the filthy rich and exclusively blokeish it is not, shall we say, PC.

Yes, surprise, surprise, these moneyed men full of expensive plonk get a little debauched.

Worst of all, at least in the prudish eyes of the media class, young women are employed at these events to serve drinks and flatter the men's fat egos.

The Financial Times, taking a break from blaming Brexit for literally everything that has gone wrong in Britain over the past 18 months, sent some undercover reporters to the Presidents Club.

They fed back that the men sometimes say untoward things to the young women and even proposition them. Perhaps next week these reporters will stake out a forest in Canada and confirm to the world that, yes, bears really do defecate in woods.

The fallout from the FT's pearl-clutching exposure of the utterly unsurprising and completely legal behaviour at this charity-friendly event has been bonkers.

Twitter went into meltdown. Labour MP Jess Phillips talked about the Presidents Club as if it were a 21st-century form of slavery. Great Ormond Street Hospital gave back the money it got from the event.

And now, the Presidents Club has announced that it is folding.

The morally outraged, the weirdly prim and angry mob that lives online and loves nothing better than to rage against people or institutions that don't share it values, will be delighted.

Yet as a result of their rage, less money will be raised for charity. Well done, guys. What does money for kids' medical equipment matter in comparison with your sense of self-satisfaction at having toppled another thing that displeases you?

What comes next? Surely all the men who ever attended this event — yes, including you, David Walliams — must now be paraded through the streets so that we can hurl rotten tomatoes, or at least angry tweets, in their repulsive direction.

This destruction of a charity event by gangs of the easily offended tells us a depressing story about modern Britain.

It confirms how empowered online mobs are. Through pooling their individual anger into a mass conformist cry of 'NOT OK' — the 21st-century equivalent of crying 'blasphemy!' 500 years ago — they can extract apologies from politicians, shame celebs out of public life, and bring charity do's crashing down.

These often time-rich, well-connected people are chilling public life, making it clear to everyone that if we say or do anything they find offensive, they will hunt us down.

It also confirms the ascendancy of a stiff, middle-class moralism on sexual matters.

First we had well-to-do female journalists making a national scandal of the fact that some male politician once put his hand on their knee.

Now we have the well-educated ladies of the FT expressing horror that young, largely working-class women sometimes use their looks to make money.

But why should the cushioned, increasingly sex-fearing smart set get to define what is acceptable in public life? Believe it or not, there are people out there — many people — who don’t think come-ons are harassment or that hands on knees are on a spectrum with sexual assault.

Finally, and perhaps worst of all, the Presidents Club scandal shows that modern feminism is very often anti-women.

The way the media are talking about the working women who served booze and massaged egos at these events is nothing short of disgraceful.

These women have been infantilised, treated as poor, pathetic, brainwashed creatures in need of rescue by their more switched-on sisters.

Even as some of the women who worked at the Presidents Club say they didn't feel abused, still the saviour feminists insist they were.

In other words, these working women don't really know what’s in their best interests. They are overgrown children, to be chastised or improved by FT reporters, Guardian columnists, and Labour politicians.


Dear Feminists: If You Want a Real Man, Act Like a Woman

We are witnessing the emergence of a new conversation about sex. The devolution of the #MeToo movement and, more recently, the Babe article about “Grace” and Aziz Ansari, have highlighted a fatal flaw in the logic of feminism.

The original intent of the #MeToo movement — that rape, workplace harassment, sexual assault, etc. ought to be unacceptable in our country — has been superseded by the idea that any type of sexually-charged encounter that makes a woman feel bad is the same as rape. And, while many modern-day feminists (I have no idea what “wave” we’re on and I don’t actually care) vehemently defend this notion, others have begun to call foul, pointing out that this kind of thinking promotes the very type of victim mentality that feminism was intended to protect against.

Recently, I pointed out that this new victim mentality stems from the feminist lie that men and women are supposed to have the same attitude towards sex. So, even though what women really want from men is love, connection, intimacy, and protection, they have to act like they’re okay with having meaningless sex on the first date. Which is how women like “Grace” end up, of their own free will, naked in a man’s apartment and feeling terrible about it.

A recent article on Scary Mommy by popular blogger Samara (apparently she has only a first name) illustrates this idea perfectly (if unintentionally). The article is called “Sometimes I Want to Be Held By A Man, Naked, Without Having Sex – Is That Okay?” and it simultaneously makes the point that women need intimacy in their lives (which is true) and that they should be able to expect it from the random guys that they go out with one time (which is not).

See, intimacy is something that comes with time. It happens when two people get to know one another, feel comfortable with each other, and allow themselves to be vulnerable with one another. You can “get intimate” with someone you met an hour ago, but you can’t “have intimacy” with him.

“I dread the idea of having to make constant compromises. Relationships are hard, and if introducing a partner into my life is going to create drama and pain, I’d rather be alone,” Samara writes. Instead, she longs to find “intimacy” with the random people she dates. “I’m a highly sexual person,” she continues, “and I like kinky sex as much as the next wanton woman. Sometimes, though, I just want to lie next to someone who will hold me. This never happens.”

Of course it doesn’t. Samara’s weird sexual preferences aside, she — and many other women including, perhaps, “Grace” — have been duped by a nonsensical philosophy into believing that engaging in hook-up culture (as if they were men) will get them the intimacy they crave (because they are women).

“Until I have a boyfriend or a husband,” writes Samara, “I will not be entitled to lay next to a man, skin on skin, and simply be held.” Well . . . duh. Samara wants us to believe that this is a bad thing. That she ought to be able to expect a man she just met and took off her clothes with to assume that she doesn’t want sex. But the man is a man. Which is why Samara needs to keep her clothes on until she knows the man well enough to be intimate with him (in every sense of the word). Not because all men are rapists, but because — unless she changes her mind and says no — the only thing you can really get from being naked with a total stranger is meaningless sex. Intimacy comes with time — and effort.

If women want intimacy (and love, and respect, and protection) from men, they have to act like women. Don’t go up to his apartment and take off your clothes on a first date. Not because men are animals who can’t control their urges, but because, by guarding your virtue, you’re telling him that you want more than sex. Don’t have sex on a first date just because you worry he won’t stay interested in you if you don’t. If he doesn’t stay interested in you, he’s not the kind of guy you’ll be able to build intimacy with.

Look, if you want to have meaningless, no-strings-attached sex with some random guy (and that’s really all you want) go for it. But if, like Samara and “Grace,” you’re looking for intimacy and connection, you’re going to need to do things a little differently. In many cases, men have stopped being chivalrous because women have stopped being feminine. Want a real man? Act like a woman.


Where Swedish "tolerance" has led

The latest news from multicultural and oh-so tolerant Sweden are grim, as the country’s Prime Minister has said the government is ready to take desperate measures, including deploying the military on the streets to mitigate the gang-related crime wave that’s spreading like wildfire.

Following a massive influx of so-called refugees, mostly from North Africa and the Middle East (Muslim majority countries incidentally), parts of Sweden have become true no-go zones, where grenade attacks are nothing to write home about and migrant teens can be seen roaming the streets armed with AK-47 rifles.

And that’s not a joke either.  Last week, Sweden started distributing 4.7 million leaflets, warning the population about the probability of a war with…well, Russia, a manual of defense of sorts, covering threats such as “climate change”, cyberattacks and terrorism. But it definitely looks like the real threat is domestic.

This is a serious admission that something is very wrong in Sweden.

At the time, Sweden’s Prime Minister  Stefan Lofven said that the army may be deployed on the streets to end gang violence, as police is overwhelmed and powerless, thanks to the migrant crisis brought upon Sweden by its left-wing/globalist/no borders government. Lofven was quoted as saying:

“It’s not my first action to put in a military, but I’m prepared to do what it takes to ensure that the seriously organized crime goes away. But it is also obvious that there are social problems. Last year 300 shootings occurred, 40 people were killed. The new year has begun with new launches. We see criminals with total lack of respect for human life, it’s a terrible development I’m determined to turn around”

The Swedish government just talked about the possibility of putting the army on the streets to deal with the no-go zone criminal gangs. We might be heading for some kind of "civil war" in Sweden.

The leaders for all 3 biggest political parties in Sweden have today talked about war in parliament.  Specifically about a war with the criminal gangs from the no go zones.

These comments arrive in the aftermath of a wave of gang related murders, including the shooting from last week in Malmo, when a 21 year old male was shot in the head; also last week, a 16 year old was found shot near a bus stop and died in the hospital. On January 3rd another 22 year old male was shot in a district of Malmo, a city plagued by gangs composed of so-called refugees/asylum seekers, whom the Sweden’s politically correct mainstream media always describe as Swedish nationals.

“In Malmö, where a fifth of the 340,000 inhabitants are under 18, children as young as 14 roam the streets with Kalashnikov assault rifles and bulletproof vests. The average age of gang members is 22, the vast majority of them hailing from migrant families.

The crime wave affecting Sweden is so severe, the police gave up investigating rape cases, due to the huge backlog of gang-related crime/murders. Basically, the cops are forced to choose between the 2 evils. Last Wednesday, a police station in Rosengard (a district of Malmo) was attacked with a hand-grenade and police was put on high-alert, yet no arrests were made:

There have been 34 grenade attacks in Sweden in 2016 and “only” 10 in 20017.

Back in April 2017, three female cops were beaten and humiliated while trying to take into custody a violent “refugee”:

During the 2013 riots, many police stations in Stockholm were targeted by violent Muslim refugees who attacked cops and burned down a police station:

The peaceful “migrants” even attacked a “60 Minutes” crew that was filming a segment on…well, migrants. This happened in 2016:

According to a police report from last year, powerful weaponry (read anti-tank missiles) was found in a 36 year old man’s basement, who is suspected of smuggling guns (automatic weapons, grenades) to Sweden’s no-go areas.

Seems like handgrenades is not enough for them anymore. These people are literally storing heavy duty military weaponry in their homes in Sweden.  Are they preparing for war?

It looks like Sweden’s feminist/ultra-liberal/pro open borders government was doing a magnificent job by allowing unvetted immigration from third world countries. Sweden saw 306 shootings last year, which resulted in 41 deaths. Meanwhile, Swedish officials and their lapdog mainstream media are blaming Islamic terrorism on their own citizens, i.e. white power is the problem.


Can You Trust American Red Cross with Donations?

Because of their history of antisemitism, I never give to the Red Cross

The past year, with major hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas, has once again cast light on the activities of the American Red Cross. As in the past, there are questions one needs to know about the Red Cross that are hard to answer. Is the organization doing a good job? How could the Red Cross do a better job? Should donors feel confident that their gifts are being used effectively?

This year, the Red Cross has been subject to a barrage of criticism. But that criticism ultimately springs from one source: a series of articles that ProPublica has been writing on the Red Cross’s effectiveness, sometimes in collaboration with National Public Radio. I wrote about these articles at Philanthropy Daily three years ago. But ProPublica has continued their work and it is long past time for an update.

For what it’s worth, I should note that ProPublica is a left-wing outfit. In fact, Justin Elliott, who is the lead reporter on Red Cross stories does other things: his most recent piece, about getting the logs for people who met with Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, manages to mention two groups the left can’t stand—Opus Dei and the Koch brothers—in the same headline.

But I don’t know what the difference is between the “left-wing” or the “right-wing” position on the Red Cross. Surely everyone who gives to that organization, regardless of their politics, wants their donations to be used effectively and that their money to help victims, not pay high salaries for bureaucrats in Red Cross headquarters or expensive public relations campaigns.

In addition, the American Red Cross is not a completely private organization. It is quasi-governmental. I think the term of art is that the group is “a congressionally chartered instrumentality of the United States.” I’m willing to accept that the nonprofit is 85-90 percent private. But because it is quasi-governmental, and the only nonprofit that has a place at the table in national disaster planning, it deserves as much scrutiny as any other government agency.

ProPublica has done many stories on the Red Cross since 2014. Their longest one, by Justin Elliott and NPR reporter Laura Sullivan, was a 2015 piece about the Red Cross’s efforts rebuilding Haiti after a 2010 earthquake.

They found that the Red Cross had collected hundreds of millions for the earthquake—and used the money to build six homes.

Parachuting into Haiti, the American Red Cross had many problems. They didn’t have enough workers fluent in French or Creole. Haiti has an archaic system of land registration that makes it hard to know who owns a particular piece of property.

But the Red Cross claimed that it helped 4.5 million people—in a nation that has a population of ten million. Jean-Max Belleville, prime minister at the time of the earthquake, said that it was “not possible” that the Red Cross had helped so many Haitians.

Many Red Cross projects backfired.

One home-building effort in the town of Campeche resulted in no homes built and many complaints from Haitians about the high salaries paid expatriates. Another $30 million home-building project, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, failed, in part because the groups couldn’t buy land.

Finally, the Red Cross said it would take nine percent for overhead and spend 91 percent of every donor dollar on Haiti. But much of the money went to other nonprofits, such as the International Federation of the Red Cross, and these nonprofits took their own overhead bite. Elliott and Sullivan calculate that only 60 percent of donor dollars actually went to Haitian projects.

Most recently, Elliott, Jessica Huseman, and Decca Muldowney say that emergency management officials in some Texas counties have complained about the Red Cross’s sluggish response to Hurricane Harvey. In DeWitt County, Emergency Management Coordinator Cyndi Smith emailed a Red Cross official on September 9, saying “Red Cross was not there as they were suppose(d) to be with the shelter.”

Officials in other small counties said that the Red Cross’s response was late and sluggish. A contractor who was supposed to direct people to the nearest available shelter didn’t do a good job because of technical glitches. Finally, a Red Cross program where they were supposed to give $400 to every disaster victim via a website was delayed for some time because of various problems, while another website to accept donations functioned flawlessly.

Houston City Councilman Dave Martin told ProPublica that he ran into American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern in a parking lot several days after the hurricane and said he had gotten many complaints about the Red Cross’s performance. He said that McGovern told him, “Do you know how much we raised with Katrina? $2 billion. We won’t even raise hundreds of millions here.”

Martin responded, “Really, Gail? That’s your response to me?”

The Red Cross issued a lengthy response that said it had 2,100 Red Cross employees on the ground in the Houston area, and had distributed 3.7 million meals. It said that it “had authorized” distribution of $148 million via the $400 payments, but did not say that the funds had been distributed. It said the fluctuating opening and closing of shelters made it hard for its contractor to steer people to the nearest shelter.

Finally, the Red Cross said it understood Councilman Martin’s frustration, but they did not dispute what Gail McGovern said.

In the Weekly Standard, Grant Wishard offers a defense of the Red Cross. He notes that the organization is the only one mandated to “prepare for and respond to disasters everywhere” and that it is frequently the framework by which smaller, nimbler organizations can give relief. He quotes Indiana University philanthropy professor Leslie Lenkowsky, who headed the Corporation for National and Community Service during the George W. Bush Administration, as saying “the Red Cross will create the framework which those other groups of first responders are working in.” Lenkowsky adds that “if we didn’t have an organization like the Red Cross we’d have to invent it.”

Of course, the American Red Cross will always be the largest and most important charity dealing with disasters. But it shouldn’t be the only one. A staff-written piece ProPublica produced in 2015 about how to give to groups that help in disasters offers sensible suggestions: do your research. Give locally. If you are so inclined, give cash to groups like GiveDirectly.

The Red Cross can do better. One way it can improve is if there was more of a competition for donor dollars for disaster relief.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 comment:

Paul Weber said...

I'm a firm believer that charity should be given locally. Give to your local food bank, homeless shelter, or free clinic. Your reward will be seeing improvements in your local community.