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Proud Boys in PDX

I didn't mean to have anything to do with the protests in PDX yesterday but by accident I visited the fringe.  I worked until 1pm and then I went into SE PDX for an appointment.  My appointment was on Morrison, just a block east of the bridge.  When I parked at 1:15pm, the first oddity I saw was two large trucks loaded to the gills with PDX cops dressed out in riot gear.  The trucks are set up such that the police can stand around the edges of the back and hang on, and when the truck stops they all step off.  They had helmets with face guards and a large assortment of weapons.  There appeared to be a medic on each truck.

There was a helicopter hovering overhead, and another helicopter roaming.  Soon two more truckloads of police came by my parking spot.  I got out of my vehicle and walked around.  There were drunken white tourists coming out of a bar.  They climbed onto one of those big bicycle carts and rowdied off down the street.  Then a crowd of black and camo-clad men sauntered by, wearing masks and armor and carrying medieval looking weapons.  There was at least one woman with them.  They were scary, intentionally so.  I think they were anti-fa.  They appeared to simply be making their presence known.  Two truckloads of riot police unloaded from their trucks and stood on the street corner.  Another two truckloads of riot police came through behind the anti-fa after they left.  I read this morning that Rump is talking about treating the anti-fa as another terrorist org.  I don't think so.  Their goal is not violence.  Their goal is to be there and intervene in bigoted violence when the cops aren't around.  I am grateful, frankly, that there are local citizens willing to step in and stop white supremacists from hurting/killing for their "cause".  I'm not about to risk my own neck.

I walked around the area for a while because I was early to my appointment.  I saw three very clean black suburbans slowly creeping through the blocks.  I presume those were the feds behind bulletproof glass.  Large ford trucks were arriving and parking in the area, and from each truck spilled four white men.  They were mostly wearing polo shirts and blue jeans, and were mostly young to middle-aged and in good shape.  They looked like they were ready for a brawl.  Itching for a fight, maybe.  I presume those were the so-called Proud Boys in spite of the fact that none were wearing black polos with yellow trim which is their uniform.  That group is required to physically fight for their "western chauvinism" cause in order to reach the top level of membership.  They are racist and misogynist and I was glad our local anti-fa and the cops were there ready to suppress their efforts to beat up gay and brown people.

I am proud of Portland with its bubble of relative safety for LGBT and brown people.  Oregon doesn't have the finest of history in this regard, but at least now there are a lot of people willing to stick their necks out to stop hate.

Below are some of the links I visited on Saturday morning when trying to understand what is going on.  I think McInnes and his crew will continue to come here because they get attention, and that is what they want.  Attention and a fight.  The PDX goal was to stop the fighting.  After the protests the word was that they plan to return every month.  It will be expensive for the city to continue to provide the kind of police presence that I saw.

I find it interesting that they call themselves boys.  Oh yeah?  Not men?  So desperate to belong that they'll revert to boyhood?  And proud of what, exactly?  Their white skin?  They had nothing to do with that, they were just born with it.  Their tatoos?  Their toughness?  Not very proud of their independence I guess.  Not too proud of their critical thinking or compassion.  They may be proud but we are not proud of them.

Wiki on Proud Boys
The Proud Boys say they have an initiation process that has four stages and includes hazing. The first stage is a loyalty oath, on the order of "I’m a proud Western chauvinist, I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world"; the second is getting punched until the person recites pop culture trivia, such as the names of five breakfast cereals; the third is getting a tattoo and agreeing to not masturbate; and the fourth is getting into a major fight "for the cause." 

No one has applied for permits for today's protests
FBI will be there
Proud boys = "general hate" white supremacist, misogynist, antisemitic
 Gavin McInnes
Gavin's website: http://streetcarnage.com/

Sex and Sexism

It's 3:44 am and I've been restless, unsleeping.  I slept at first then woke with thoughts of Epstein, who just suicided because he didn't want to sit through a long trial about his sex trafficking of young girls.  According to one report I read he wanted to inseminate as many women as possible who would bear his children.  I wonder how many of his progeny already exist in the world.  According to another report he wanted his head and penis cryogenically preserved after his death.  I wonder if his penis is frozen somewhere after his ignominious suicide in prison.  I wonder how many American men secretly hold him as a hero.  He got stinkin' filthy rich though I read that it's not because of his skill as a financial manager.  He must have got that rich because men will pay a lot of money for girls they can abuse and get away with it.  This is one horror of our culture.

Then Lorena Bobbit came to mind.  She's the woman who cut off her husband's penis and threw it out the car window as she was driving away.  I saw a recent news bit about her, she's doing fine.  She did remark that everybody was fascinated about the penis, which was found and reattached.  Her husband went on to be a porn star, I imagine abusing women on camera.  People weren't nearly as interested in why she did it.  Why did she cut it off?  I'd bet she was furious.  She said it was because her husband "forced himself on her".  Not just once: many times.   She didn't use the word rape but I will.  Her husband considered sex with her to be his right and he raped her, so much and so unpleasantly that she was angry enough to cut off his penis.  Temporary insanity sounds like a nice plea deal but not the truth.  The truth is something more like justice.  If rape doesn't sound like a bad enough crime to you to justify that punishment, you are probably a man.

Another thing that comes to mind is this article, The Female Price of Male Pleasure.  This is truth.  Men get their rocks off and women tolerate.  The woman's pleasure is rarely a priority, much less her orgasm.  Men just want to get off.  If she's uncomfortable or in pain, they ignore it.  If she seeks medical help for her discomfort in sex, her care is not as well covered by insurance as his is for getting an erection.  As if men have more of a right to a big fat erection than women have to not be hurt.  Part of the obliviousness of men is because testosterone makes them that way.  They are impulsive and aggressive because their hormones make them that way.  Sex is an obsession dictated by evolution.  But their selfish behavior is in part due to a gender imbalance in our culture.

How many husbands have wives that never have orgasms, with them at least?  How many even know that or give a damn?  I know only about a few, but that's because they've confessed to me in private.  Usually the blame is on the woman for not doing what it takes to have an orgasm.  What if the whole experience is so unpleasant that women wait for the man to get off and fake orgasms so that they can be set free from the imbalanced sexual process for at least a few more hours?  Lots, that's my estimate.

I know all of this from my own experience.  My best lover ever was a woman.  We didn't have the hottest sex in the world, but she made the effort to give me orgasms.  She was sensitive and curious enough to learn how, and she taught me the lesbian creed of reciprocality.  Our orgasms might not happen at the same time, but we can each give the other one.  Lesbians emphasize this.  It just doesn't happen in many male-female relationships.  The male's orgasm is all that matters--the female can "take care of herself".  The male gets resentful if he has to "take care of himself".  This is disgusting.

My lesbian lover knew from her own experience how sensitive a woman's breasts are, how they can be used to excite, and how easily they can be hurt.  I can't tell you how many times a man has been cruel to my breasts and painfully pinched the nipple or grabbed one in his hand and squeezed it like a water balloon.  My breasts are not for men.  If men cannot use them to give me pleasure, they do not get to touch them.

And then there is porn.  You don't have to look much to know that one of the biggest themes is domination and abuse of females by males.  To start with females are expected to be unnaturally shaven and denuded of protective hair.  To follow up with that we're supposed to enjoy being tied up, abused, ejaculated on.  Maybe some do enjoy this but I can tell you that the vast majority of women want to be caressed and adored, we want to be seduced, not raped.  But a whole lot of really sad young men have their only sexual experiences interacting with this twisted porn, and it makes them even more messed up than they were to start with.  How are they going to learn how to seduce a woman from this?

So in addition to all the other crises facing our time, there is this.  Women are deeply angry because we've come to realize that we've been mistreated and it does not have to be this way.  The sexual imbalance in our culture has come into very clear focus.  We are furious.  Sexism in sexuality is an ugly thing.  Men can't help that they have testosterone and are horny, but they can decide to be egalitarian, they can learn to be good lovers and sensitive partners.  They can take on the lesbian practice of reciprocality in pleasure and orgasm.  For many in the boomer generation it may be too late; they are stuck in their ways.  But for Gen X and onward I think there is still hope that men and women can find a new equilibrium in which women's pleasure is given at least equal priority and men don't think they have a right to sex in spite of how unpleasant it is for their partner, much less license to rape little girls or their wives.

I suppose we have the creep in chief to thank for this nexus.  His naked misogyny in addition to the nasty racism has emboldened a lot of creeps to act out, and women have had to defend ourselves more and more.  A supreme court justice who probably had some fun at the expense of many young women is just one of three accused on our highest court.  The reversal of Roe v Wade is on the horizon, and with that men will be able to legally hijack a woman's body for the purpose of propagating their sperm.  Add to that the fact that abortion is getting harder to access even before the Roe reversal, and that in some states rapists have parental rights, and we have even more reasons to be furious.

I'm not in favor of abortion in general, I think it is an archaic solution to a problem that should be addressed much earlier in the sequence of events.  No woman should be raped or in other way get pregnant when she is not prepared to raise a child.  But this is another issue that would require all night to even just begin writing about.  Then there's income equality which puts women in a dependent position, and many more sticky wickets.  The pit is deep.

But just one more thing.  We have every right and reason to be angry.  Women have been through a lot of crap in service to men's desires, and it is our turn to serve ourselves.  It is our turn not just to have pleasure instead of pain, but to run this place and change the culture.  We are not bitches, we are justified and motivated.  We don't need men; we only need sperm if we want babies.  Justice may be a ways off but I can smell it through my tears.  Look out all you creepy guys who buy and bully for sex.  The world is changing.

QotD: Eagles Don't Flock

Eagles don't flock. 
You have to find them one at a time.

--Ross Perot 1930-2019 

Letter to Dog Owners

Maybe you're not like my neighbors.  They're fine people, decent people.  However, their two poodles are currently gated on the front porch of their house and barking at everything that goes by.  The constant noise pollution is not welcome.  I will remember this if I ever want to have a loud party or run a saw at 5:30am.  Consideration gets consideration.

This morning when I was done working in the garden I headed for the house only to realize on the steps that something was on the bottom of my sandal.  I scraped it off on the edge of the steps and it was dog shit.  I hosed off my shoe and the steps.  It may seem like a small thing to you, that your dog does not come when you call it and loves to shit in my garden, but it is not a small thing to me.

Yesterday I went for a walk with a girlfriend who has two dogs.  She wanted me to walk one but I begged out.  The one that she did bring, an American pitbull, was kept on leash the whole time.  It took the treats which were offered regularly regardless of behavior, and appeared indifferent to the kiddie talk tone taken in her speech.  It kept jumping on me, and slobbering on my legs whenever we stopped.  Slobbering may be normal in your world, but I don't want it in mine.

I live across the street from a park, and people walk their dogs past here all day every day.  I have a cat.  My cat hates dogs with a ferocity I have never seen in another creature.  She will go out of her way to draw blood if the dog is clueless enough to get in range.  But some dogs would kill her if they caught her, and she recognizes that kind and runs, climbs, escapes.  The park rules are that all dogs are to be on leash at all times except for when inside the dog park, which is always available.  I believe city rules are the same.  Any dog owner stupid enough to let their dog in my yard deserves the vet bill.  Any dog that is hunter enough to threaten my cat should be on leash.

My last pet was a dog.  I loved him deeply.  I did a real dog obedience training with him, with a lady who trained German shepherds for the police.  We both learned, and we had a language.  He did not run off to shit in someone else's yard.  I could call him off a chase when other dogs were still chasing.  He would sit and watch quietly when I spotted wildlife.  He would heel, really heel without a leash on, and stay.  He would stay laying in the shade while I had lunch in a restaurant.  So when you say your dog is well trained, at a bare minimum I expect that you can call them back to you and they will come.  Every time.  If he's not well trained, he should be on a leash.

Postscript: I texted my neighbors to ask for some quiet and admitted that the dog barking was getting to me.  They took the dogs indoors and the noise has stopped.  I can feel my blood pressure gradually dropping back toward normal.

I think that when this cat dies I will not have any more pets.  It is very American to have pets, it helps us with the isolation.  But I would rather hang out with my neighbors than listen to their pets.  I would rather make love to my partner than pet the cat.  I would rather not have a litter box to clean or warm piles of dung to pick up with a plastic bag.  The numbers are astounding about pet ownership in the US: could it be that we are substituting cats, dogs, computers and phones for having real connections with other people?

QotD: Life Will Break You

 Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
~ Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum


 A friend came to me recently complaining of yoga butt.  It isn't what you might think--unless you've had it.  Yoga butt is, in medical terms, a proximal hamstring tendinopathy.  For those who don't speak medicalese, that means that an injury where your leg muscles attach to your butt bones (ishial tuberosities) hasn't healed right and is hurting for too long.  Muscles attach to bones with tendons as the connector, and when a tendon gets torn off the bone or otherwise hurt, it can be very slow healing.  This is because tendons are kind of like plastic--they're tough and hard, and not as "alive" as other tissues.

I got my yoga butt from doing a cartwheel without warming up first.  It took me 20 years to heal it because it took me that long to get serious about it.  It was just a bothersome ache at my butt bone that was worse with sitting.  Lots of people get yoga butt from doing hamstring stretches (forward bends) without building strength or warming up first.  You'd think that the muscle would be more fragile than the tendon but there's a weak spot where the tendon attaches to the bone--this is usually where the injury is.  Once it get injured, people tend to keep re-injuring it.  Especially yogis who are ever so slightly prideful about their ability to bend. 

Tendons get strong from being tensioned, but you have to start gradually.  Work out your hamstrings to make your hamstring attachment tendons stronger.  This is part of the treatment for yoga butt.  The thing is yoga doesn't have a lot of poses that strengthen the hamstrings, but it does have a lot of poses that require you to be able to touch your toes, or fake it.  And faking it teaches you all kinds of bad habits that leave you imbalanced, strong in places and weak in others, and prone to injury.

Lots of thoughts about this but I must go.


QotD: Gatofeo

An ugly cat.
Vast desert.
Smoke and fire.
Flying lead makes holes in parchment.
The ugly cat is much amused.

--- Gatodamus (1503-1566)
(Source: https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/topic/107438-jarbidge-nevada-monster/)

QotD: Dickey on the River

The river and everything I remembered
about it became a possession to me,
a personal, private possession, as nothing
else in my life ever had.  Now it ran
nowhere but in my head, but there
it ran as though immortally....
In me it still is, and will be until I die,
green, rocky, deep, fast, slow, and
beautiful beyond reality.

--James Dickey in Deliverance 

QotD: What Atheists Teach the Religious

The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”

The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

“This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”

—Martin Buber, Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 (1991)

QotD: Try New Things

 "If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good."
~ Dr. Seuss




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