Friday, March 27, 2015

A Conversation With Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo About Sexual Intimacy and Health

Rosalyn Dischiavo, founder of the Institute for Sexual Education and Enlightenment is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

This is a fun and interesting conversation that began several years ago when Dr. Dischiavo reached out to Chauncey DeVega with some questions about a blog post he shared regarding the colorline, kink, sexuality, and "race play".

That series of emails planted the seeds for Dr. Dischiavo's good sharing on The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Roz and Chauncey discuss issues of power, race, and sexual role-playing in the boudoir, the new movie and books 50 Shades of Grey, if online pornography is "harming" young people, how to give "the talk" about "the birds and the bees" to our children, the importance of communication to sexual intimacy and pleasure, and the shadow of Dr. Kinsey.

Roz also helps Chauncey to figure out if his parents did a good job preparing him to take the ladies on Space Mountain.

This is a jam packed full of goodness podcast episode as Chauncey also chats with Bryan, a fellow smart mark and friend, about this weekend's WWE Wrestlemania event.

This episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show with Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo can be listened to below or "watched" on the official Youtube channel for chaunceydevega.com

The Chauncey DeVega Show can also be followed on Itunes and listened to via Stitcher on your smart phone or other related technology.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Piss-Poor Metaphors and Crippled Thinking: 'America is the Michael Brown Among Nations' and 'Ferguson has Become the Liberal Benghazi'

Shameless self-promotion.

I am scheduled to be a guest on the RT Network show The Big Picture this Friday. I will be discussing how Ferguson is a national problem and other related matters. If time allows, I most certainly will mention how Jonathan Capehart is wrong in his claim that "hands up, don't shoot" is based on a lie.

As I distill down my thoughts to some witty pithy on Ferguson for Friday, I offer a related topic...

Language is one of the ways through which human beings (and other animals) describe reality. Language can also be used for wish fulfillment, to twist the world around oneself to fulfill a fantasy.

Some writers conquer the page. Other writers allow their characters to be channeled through them. There are writers and essayists would have a clear point of view, and do their best to write in a normative fashion about the world as they see and experience it.

Some folks just spin written yarns out of bovine scatology for questionable political ends and as a disservice to the common good.

James Howard Kunstler (hat tip to "Buddy H" for calling this mess out) and the Washington Post's Richard Cohen are engaged in some piss-poor thinking in their respective blog posts and editorial columns "Kicked to the Curb" and "Ferguson and Benghazi's Troubling Parallels".

Cohen and Kunstler have committed first degree murder against metaphor use and clear thinking. Unfortunately, they can only be "executed" once.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Netanyahu's Trump Card: Israel and the United States are Joined at the Hip Making Futuristic Weapons and Other High Tech Gizmos



When I read about Israel's bad behavior--attacking civilians in Palestine, bombing and strafing American navy vessels, spying on the United States, selling American technology to China, interfering in American domestic politics, etc. etc.--I often wonder why the President and Congress simply do not simply cut off the money spigot? 

Yes, the Israeli lobby is extremely powerful. But, the ultimate answer may be that the American taxpayer's money goes to Israel as a means of subsidizing the military industrial complex. As always, when you follow the money, you found out what drives statecraft. 

Despite the Obama administration's annoyance and upsetness at Netanyahu's despicable speech and grandstanding before the United States Congress and the Republican Party's near treasonous violation of the Logan Act, Israel will not be "punished". The deep state and the iron mongers would never allow it.

The Nation has an excellent piece on how the Pentagon has finally--shock! gasp!--admitted the obvious fact that Israel is a nuclear power. The more interesting aspects of William Greider's essay include how the United States and Israeli arms merchants have collaborated over the decades to produce the future-present weapons of today and their commercial spin-offs.

[Speaking of high-tech future weapons, are you ready for Boeing's science fiction made real "force field" like technology?]

Some insights from a now declassified 1987 report:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Jonathan Capehart: 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' is Built on the Truth

Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

In response, the black citizens of Ferguson marched and protested against what they knew to be one of many instances where the lives of African-Americans were devalued by the police in that community. Their exhalation of frustration and righteous anger was echoed by protests across the United States with slogans like “black lives matter” and “hands up, don’t shoot”.

The Ferguson police responded to the people’s protests in Ferguson by rioting against the black community.

Subsequent to those events, The Department of Justice issued two reports.

One demonstrated how the police in Ferguson routinely violated the civil rights of black people, the courts were biased against non-whites, and together they acted like a de facto KKK chapter of street pirates who personally enriched themselves through a debt peonage racket scheme that looted the wallets and purses of African-Americans.

The Department of Justice’s other report detailed how federal civil rights violations would not be brought against Darren Wilson because it would be difficult if not impossible to disprove that he was not in “reasonable fear” for his life during the encounter with Michael Brown.

American conservatives have—with few exceptions—fixated on the Department of Justice report “exonerating” Darren Wilson for his killing of Michael Brown.

Liberals and progressives have tended to emphasize the Department of Justice report on the Ferguson police department and courts’ white supremacist practices.

In response to the latter, last week The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart wrote a much discussed editorial entitled “’Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ was Built on a Lie”.

Capehart is also incorrect.

“Hands up, don’t shoot” is built on the truth.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekend Semi-Open Thread: Pondering the End of the World at CHI-FI 2015


As is our habit and tradition, please do consider this our semi-open weekend/Sunday thread.

I spent the last few days at CHI-FI 2015. This is a nice regional convention that has a good amount of upside once they get some of the kinks worked out. I can only imagine the challenges involved in planning an event at a major hotel and having to coordinate all of the many elements necessary for it to cohere nicely.

Moreover, and it must only come with practice and experience, little things matter at a convention in terms of procuring talent, guest speakers, and the like. I am sure that the organizers of CHI-FI 2105 will improve their logistics for what will be a great event next year.

[Obvious suggestion and question for all folks planning a "con": please make sure that the chairs of the individual panels adhere to the times listed on the schedule. 

At this year's CHI-2015, the schedules allotted 30 mins more to the panels than what was detailed on the schedule. In addition. some of the panels seemed happy to end early. Perhaps this is a function of nerves by the panelists and chairs? Based on my experience of having been on quite a few panels as a guest and chair, always plan to go over time as opposed to planning to end early. This makes for a huge difference in terms of energy for the audience.]

As a "ghetto nerd"--speaking of which, much love to the folks who have said kind things about the last episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show with guest Dr. Adilifu Nama--I want to see more and better science fiction, comic book, cosplay, popular culture, and other like events as opposed to fewer of them.

CHI-FI 2015's heart is in the right place. I wish them the best going forward. I look forward to next year's con.

I had a good time at the event. Some of the standout panels I attended included the following:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Conversation With Professor Adilifu Nama About Popular Culture, Race, and Science Fiction

Adilifu Nama, Professor of African-American Studies at Loyola Marymount University and expert on race and popular culture is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Adilifu has written several books including Black Space and Super Black.

He has also written a forthcoming book on the films of Quentin Tarantino.

In this fun episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Adilifu and Chauncey take a long and winding walk along the colorline and its intersections with race, popular culture, and science fiction. 

Adilifu and Chauncey discuss their mutual discovery of a love of science fiction and film, how to reconcile white supremacy and science fiction as fans who are people of color, talked about their fear of the comic book store and the Whiteness of geek and nerd culture, and shared thoughts on Django: Unchained, teaching film, and the existential dilemmas of "blackness".

Chauncey and Adilifu also share their favorite horror movies--hint: one of them is the recent pathology porn film "Precious"--and mutual love of Clint Eastwood's revisionist Western classic "Unforgiven".

Chauncey shares some thoughts about Ferguson and his recent appearance on Ring of Fire TV, rants about incompetent tech support for his new HD webcam, talks about white Right-wing domestic terrorists, and reads a passage from Ethiop's classic essay "What Shall We do With the White People?"

This episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show with Professor Adilifu Nama can be listened to below or "watched" on the official Youtube channel for chaunceydevega.com

The Chauncey DeVega Show can also be followed on Itunes and listened to via Stitcher on your smart phone or other related technology.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

From Slavery Then to Ferguson Now: How Anti-Black Racism Subsidizes White America

White America's historical relationship with Black America is profoundly parasitic



The Department of Justice report on institutional and day-to-day white supremacy by the Ferguson police and Courts against the black community was long and detailed. It contained many ugly gems of information, many of which have not been widely discussed.

For example, writing at the Huffington Post, Nate Robertson offered the following intervention:
In the city of Ferguson, nearly everyone is a wanted criminal. 
That may seem like hyperbole, but it is a literal fact. In Ferguson -- a city with a population of 21,000 -- 16,000 people have outstanding arrest warrants, meaning that they are currently actively wanted by the police. In other words, if you were to take four people at random, the Ferguson police would consider three of them fugitives... 
The Department of Justice's 102-page report is a rich source of damning facts about the Ferguson criminal justice system. But tucked halfway in and passed over quickly is a truly revelatory set of figures: the arrest warrant data for the Ferguson Municipal Court.
It turns out that nearly everyone in the city is wanted for something. Even internal police department communications found the number of arrest warrants to be "staggering". 
By December of 2014, "over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants that had been issued by the court." The report makes clear that this refers to individual people, rather than cases (i.e. people with many cases are not being counted multiple times). However, if we do look at the number of cases, the portrait is even starker. In 2013, 32,975 offenses had associated warrants, so that there were 1.5 offenses for every city resident. 
That means that the city of Ferguson quite literally has more crimes than people. 
To give some context as to how truly extreme this is, a comparison may be useful. In 2014, the Boston Municipal Court System, for a city of 645,000 people, issued about 2,300 criminal warrants. The Ferguson Municipal Court issued 9,000, for a population 1/30th the size of Boston's. 
This complete penetration of policing into everyday life establishes a world of unceasing terror and violence. When everyone is a criminal by default, police are handed an extraordinary amount of discretionary power.
The Nation details how the events in Ferguson are nationwide in scope:
“Once the system is primed for maximizing revenue—starting with fines and fine enforcement—the city relies on the police force to serve, essentially, as a collection agency for the municipal court rather than a law enforcement entity,” said Holder, later adding, “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them.” 
Holder’s conclusion, coming after an in-depth, six-month investigation in Ferguson, could have easily described many cities and local jurisdictions across the country. 
As Nusrat Choudhury said in an ACLU statement back in January, “the vicious cycle of linking racial profiling and debtors prisons,” occurs nationally and “in the process, poor people—disproportionately people of color—and their families suffer from the collateral impacts of jailing on employment, and housing.” 
In Louisiana and Washington State, for instance, those convicted of a crime are ordered to pay court and processing fees that can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. In Washington State, the minimum fees for a felony conviction add up to $800, and in 2004 they averaged nearly $1,400. Poor defendants often wind up indebted and put onto a payment plan where interest accrues. The inability to pay can easily land them back in prison.
These processes in Ferguson and elsewhere are Orwellian: the State's power is expansive and there are few if any ways for individuals to avoid its enforcers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chauncey DeVega Talks to Ring of Fire TV About the 'Horde of Racists' Otherwise Known as the Ferguson Police Department

I was a guest on Sunday's edition of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV.

There, I talked with guest host Farron Cousins about the Department of Justice Report on "the hive of scum and villainy" that is and was the Ferguson Police Department and Courts.

This was a good conversation. I am learning to focus on one or two points, and when given the opportunity, to pivot from there. With practice also comes being more relaxed during a TV interview.

[No, I do not have jaundice. No, my face is not that wide. And yes, we are still getting the gremlins out of the machine, thus a bit of lag. One step in front of the other, one step in front of the other friends...]

My goal in talking with Farron on Ring of Fire TV was to highlight 1) the racist debt peonage racket by police thugs that is a continuance of Jim and Jane Crow and 2) how the Ferguson police department's racism was the context that killed Michael Brown.

[And in further Ferguson developments, does anyone believe for a second that Jeffrey Williams "ambushed" or "sniped" at the two police shot there last week? Moreover, do the Ferguson police have any credibility what so ever in terms of any folks who they decide should be arrested or detained--especially towards those people who are not white?

I would also give even money on the bet that the Ferguson police department was less than kind and professional in their treatment of Mr. Williams.]

As always, any thoughts, suggestions, and advice are welcome.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Slavery's Enduring Resonance": From Slavery to Ferguson as Told by the Descendant of White Slavers in America

Edward Ball's family were slavers in the American South.

If ghosts and shades are real, the psychic memories and impressions haunting the living, I would imagine that Dr. Ball is experiencing some rumblings and disturbances in the late hours of the evening.

"Slavery's Enduring Resonance", Ball's piece in the Sunday Review section of The New York Times,  is wonderful writing as an example how history lives in the present.

While other folks--myself included--have touched on the connections between white supremacy, white on black chattel slavery, police thuggery, and the events in Ferguson, Dr. Ball's grace and efficiency in writing (and historiography) is amazing.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekend Semi-Open Thread: A Lovable Eccentric and Genius. A Fond Goodbye to New Haven, Connecticut's Bob 'The Movie Man' Paglia

As is our habit and tradition, please do consider this our semi-open weekend thread.

[And thanks to the folks who listened to and shared the last podcast episode on Star Trek, race, sexuality, and gender. The Chauncey DeVega Show is hovering at 30 or so in the Itunes "new and noteworthy" chart. If you could subscribe to and/or review the show in Itunes that would help to push it to the top 20...and the front page of Itunes.]

I loathe the insufferable "Think Different" ad campaign for Apple computer products because it suggests that buying a computer from a huge international corporation as being a type of radical act.

Homo Politicus is not the necessarily the same as Homo Economicus.

The ad campaign from Red Bull is equally absurd: one does not gain the courage and skill to parachute from a near Earth orbit, climb Mount Everest, or swim the deepest part of the sea by drinking a can full of poison.

The marketing of fake individualism through consumer behavior debases and mocks true individuality.

Pseudo individuality, what is in practice mass conformity, is one of the great successes of the dream merchants of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

However, I will concede that the narration for Apple's "Think Different" campaign was/is genius: the "crazy ones", "the misfits", "the troublemakers" and those who think outside of the box are in many ways the best of us...even while they are shunned, mocked, punished, and sometimes even killed for their unorthodox ways.

As I return to often, we are all made by other people, the products of their contributions, love, investment in us, time, and yes, sometimes even harshness and meanness towards us.

Bob "The Movie Man" Paglia was and is a great and wonderful eccentric.

He was also a very smart and generous and kind person.

Mr. Bob Paglia recently passed away.

The New Haven Register offered a profile about his life and work: