How Did I Miss That? Killer Lady Storms; Spelling Bee Bigots
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that hurricanes with female names kill about twice as many people as hurricanes with male names because people do not respect the power of “female” storms and so are less likely to protect themselves. The result was obtained even though Katrina and Audrey were excluded as statistical outliers because they were exceptionally deadly. The reason for the differences in body count—disrespect—was teased out by laboratory experiments, where people were asked to predict the danger in storms described identically but for the names.
The Washington Post reported on an unfortunate event in a recent royal visit to Australia in addition to getting picketed by Aboriginals. A gust of wind swooped down—or up—on the Duchess of Cambridge and proved to the world that she was going commando. The gender of the wind was not reported. Unlike the topless photos of Ms. Middleton in the French magazine Closer, there is no violation of privacy that would allow her to have another successful lawsuit, so the German tabloid Bild was setting some circulation records.
Morning Joe was making fun of an article on bitcoins in the latest GQ, illustrated by a female backside. The hilarity was provoked by the irrelevance of the picture to bitcoins. Then I discovered a 2013 report in the UK version of GQ that a British escort service was accepting payment in bitcoins
Feminists would argue that all the news above was joined at the hip, if not the buttocks, with the news immediately below. My cousin Ray Sixkiller bristled. “Are you calling me a feminist? I’m a Republican!” I did not intend to insult Ray, but rather to point out that disrespect of women is part of a continuum that can lead from mere ridicule to horror.
Reuters reported that in Northern India, sisters aged 14 and 15 were gang raped, tortured, and left hanging from a mango tree. Gruesome pictures of the scene were broadcast when hundreds of people surrounded the tree and refused to allow the police to cut the bodies down until arrests were made.
Al Jazeera reported from across the border in Pakistan the “honor killing” of a three months pregnant Farzana Parveen Iqbal, 25, who was beaten to death by her father and other relatives for refusing an arranged marriage. The public attack took 15 minutes. Because the young woman was smashed with bricks, early reports were that she was “stoned to death,” but it was more up close and personal than that. The attack was outside a courthouse where she had come to testify that the man she married had not, as her family charged, kidnapped her. “Police officers” watched the attack without moving to protect her, ignoring her husband’s tearful pleas.
In a bizarre postscript to the Pakistani tragedy, Muhammad Iqbal, the man Farzana had married against her family’s wishes, admitted to the AFP news agency that he had murdered his first wife out of love for Farzana and escaped prosecution by paying “blood money.” He was unable to raise the 100,000 rupees (about $1,000) his new wife’s family had demanded to let her live.
On June 2 at 11:05 am, an email blast went out from the GOP Insider Brief that led with a link to the Rupert Murdoch tabloid New York Post, where the linked article contained a takedown of the POW recently released in the prisoner swap with the Taliban, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Sgt. Bergdahl had become critical and ashamed of how US forces were treating Afghans, and the Post mined the speculation at the time of his capture that he had deserted. The Post quoted an anonymous “White House official” as saying “Frankly, we don’t give a shit why he left. He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.” Cousin Ray sided with the anonymous official, adding, “My only regret is that we couldn’t swap Murdoch for the POW.”
Newsmax, the website Forbes once described as “the great right hope,” ran a “news” story on nothing but The Donald Trump’s opinion that the POW prisoner swap was a “catastrophe” for President Obama and it put “every American at risk,” sentiments The Donald first aired on Fox & Friends. The echo chamber is in full cry.
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