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Welcome to the Official Website of James Landrith
Donít Look for Grown-Ups in Government
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Politics
Written by Sheldon Richman   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Don’t Look for Grown-Ups in Government
by Sheldon Richman
 
With the government partially closed for over two weeks now and the debt-ceiling deadline upon us, the pundits are demanding that the “grown-ups in the room” finally put a stop to the childish goings-on in Washington.
 
That would be nice — except there are no grown-ups in the room. If you seek evidence, just look around. Politicians, from President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner on down, operate at a level of irresponsibility that we don’t tolerate in children. It’s the nature of government.
 
Let’s start with the money politicians spend: Like children, they don’t have to earn it. It comes to them without effort. But unlike children, they have others take it by force through taxation. If you don’t believe me, tell the IRS “no thank you” the next time it calls for donations.
 
If they aren’t satisfied with the proceeds from taxation, politicians have unlimited power to borrow money, which makes government look less expensive than it is while sending the bill to future generations. Politicians make a show of imposing a limit on borrowing, but they can raise the limit at will, threatening dire consequences if they don’t.
 
Behold the gross irresponsibility. The money keeps flowing to the politicians no matter what they do or how big and costly their blunders. Even if people knew how badly the political class screwed up, they couldn’t cut them off without risking lives of misery and perhaps prison at the hands of the government’s armed henchmen.
 
But it’s even worse, because people untrained in the economic way of thinking will have difficulty tracing bad consequences to the politicians’ bad decisions. If you’re an unemployed unskilled worker, you may not realize that politicians who passed the minimum wage are responsible for pricing you out of a job. Similarly, if you’d like to escape wage employment and work for yourself, you might not realize that politicians have placed a dozen tollgates on the road to self-employment as a favor to special interests.
 
Tracing economic effects to their public-policy causes is no easy matter. It requires economic understanding, which most people lack. Politicians take advantage of this, such as when they blame rising consumer prices on greed rather than on their central bank’s inflationary policies. They have a thousand ways to cover their tracks.
 
Again, behold the irresponsibility this engenders. If you knew you had a guaranteed flow of income no matter what you did, you might conduct yourself very differently from how you conduct yourself now. As Lord Acton famously said, power tends to corrupt. It also attracts the corrupt.
 
Politicians also fail to operate at a responsible adult level to the extent they believe society can be molded according to their whims. Societies aren’t made of clay. They are complex networks of interaction among individuals using their particular knowledge in pursuit of their personal goals. Social engineering is people manipulation backed by force, which requires a level of hubris that no mature person would possess. Yet politicians engage in it every day, free of responsibility for the consequences that come from disrupting people’s lives.
 
Some readers will want to contest my claim that politicians are essentially unaccountable. Don’t they face the voters regularly, and doesn’t that keep them on the straight and narrow? To see the answer, we must get beyond naïve civics-book analysis.
 
We’ve already seen how the obscure path from political cause to economic effect helps to shield politicians from accountability. But that isn’t all. Even though politicians’ decisions can cost people their jobs, their freedom, and, in the aggregate, billions of dollars — think of the housing and financial debacle, which resulted from bad political decisions — what’s the worst that can happen to the officeholders responsible for a disaster? At most they might lose the next election. Oh the horror! On the other hand, incumbents have great advantages in elections and don’t often lose. Can you sue politicians for damages? Can you prosecute them for theft? Of course not. So where is the real accountability? There is none.
 
The upshot is that politicians are more irresponsible than children — children don't have credit cards. So if you’re looking for grown-ups, look anywhere but government.
 
Sheldon Richman  is vice president and editor at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va. (www.fff.org).
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 October 2013 )
 
Real men donít cry: Mixed messages and myths about male sexual assault
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Lakeidra Chavis   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Real men don’t cry: Mixed messages and myths about male sexual assault

Published in the University of Alaska-Fairbanks The Sun Star:


Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Editor-in-Chief


Oct. 15, 2013

When I was in seventh grade, we discussed sexual assault in class and my teacher gave statistics of sexual assault prevalence by gender. My male friend laughed and told me that they included the statistics about men to make women feel better.

His assertion clearly outlines a common held assumption that the majority of our culture accepts and sometimes blindly perpetuates: only women can be victims.

Ten percent of sexual assault victims are male, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

One in 71 men are victims of sexual assault in the United States, according to a 2010 Center for Disease Control’s Division of Violence national study on American adults.

Male victims are less likely to report the crime, especially when it is female-on-male rape, according to the CDC.

The U.S. Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”

In 1990, 19-year-old James Landrith was raped by a pregnant woman after driving her home and getting a hotel room, according to a CNN article published last Thursday.

Landrith was intoxicated and never consent.

Since his assault almost two decades ago, Landrith has spoken about crimes committed by women against men.

“I want people to understand that it’s not about how physically strong you are,” Landrith told CNN. “We [men] are conditioned to believe that we cannot be victimized in such a way.”

Landrith is right. We currently live in a culture in which discussions about gender ethnic violence issues, are automatically assumed to be female, minority violence issue. This completely excludes men from the discussion. If our current cultural model only presents men as perpetrators and women as victims, who benefits?

It wasn’t until last year that the FBI changed the definition of rape to include all genders. The past definition, which hadn’t been updated since 1927, defined sexual assault as,”the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.”

The psychological and physical effects sexual assault can have on victims is tremendous, and they can last for decades.

Victims who experience sexual trauma can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression and other serious disorders.

There are a lot of places in Fairbanks that help victims regardless of gender.

The Student Health and Counseling Center offers six free counseling sessions each academic year for students are taking at least six credits. The Women’s Center offers support to all victims by providing pamphlets and information about reporting the crime.

If a victim decides to report the crime to the police, the University Police Department, located right next to the counseling center, is available and trained to handle the crimes. The Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living is also available, providing a safe space for victims.

Sexual assault isn’t a women’s issue or a men’s issue. It’s a cultural issue that can only be fixed if we take collective efforts to end it.

It doesn’t matter what the victim is wearing, who they were with, who they’ve been with, where they were or what they drank.

It is never the victim’s fault.

Ever.

 

http://www.uafsunstar.com/archives/25336

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 October 2013 )
 
Survivor Advocacy is Real Work (or I'm Not Your Dancing Monkey)
User Rating: / 4
Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Sunday, 13 October 2013
When I consent to an interview (e.g., CNN, HuffPostLive, Role/Reboot, etc.) I'm doing so as a rape survivor performing advocacy, education and outreach. My intent is to create awareness, change attitudes and offer validation to other survivors.

I'm not working for the entertainment and abuse of idiots, knuckle-dragging troglodytes, low information morons with no desire to learn, people who shouldn't have internet access, or gender warriors with an ideological blindspot or axe to grind (regardless of gender identification).  I'm not working for the haters.

I'm not engaging with people who aren't worth my time or effort. I no longer read the comments on the stories that mention my work or quote me for interviews. If you are hoping to harass me there, give it up. I'm not joining the party. My life, my mental health and my future are worth more to me than proving some pitiful manchild, or arrogant woman wrong about male rape survivors. The people I'm trying to reach are not full of hate, not proud of their ignorance, nor are they looking to harm others with words or physical violence. They are mature adults with emotional intelligence and actually worthy of the time I spend on them when they reach out in earnest.

I'm doing this for the other men and women suffering in silence and feeling invalidated by a world that mocks and blame survivors of sexual violence, while defending predators and blaming the victim. I'm doing this for the man who has held it in for 30 years and wants to put his fist through the wall when he remembers it. I'm doing it for the woman who was victim-blamed by her own mother and father when she told on her abuser. I'm doing it for the survivor who lacks a voice. I'm doing it for those who are still silent and feel they have no future.

I'm not doing it to entertain the haters and those who revel in their ignorant arrogance. They lack humanity. They lack basic social skills. They lack compassion. They are not worth a single second of my time. 

You can either contribute or tear down. I choose to contribute.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 October 2013 )
 
Against his will: Female-on-male rape
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Sarah LeTrent   
Wednesday, 09 October 2013

 

Against his will: Female-on-male rape

By Sarah LeTrent, CNN
updated 10:52 AM EDT, Thu October 10, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(CNN) -- "Go back to sleep."

 

Groggy from a night of drinking, that's precisely what James Landrith did.

 

The next morning, Landrith -- who was 19 at the time -- woke up in a bed that he quickly realized was not his own. As his haze lifted, he recognized the woman who ordered him to sleep the night before as a friend of a friend.

 

He remembered she asked for a ride home after their mutual friendleft the nightclub where they'd been partying. He remembered the woman was pregnant and bought him drinks as a thank you.

 

He remembered feeling disoriented, and her suggesting a motel room to sleep it off. He even remembered lying down with his pants on, uncomfortable taking them off in front of a stranger, only to awaken later and find the woman straddling him. What he didn't remember was saying "yes."

 

The morning after, that familiar voice told him that he could hurt the baby if he put up a fight. Then, he says, she forced herself on him again. A few minutes later it was over. One night in a motel twin bed turned into years of self-examination.

It took some time, and the help of a therapist, to get there: "I was finally able to call it what it was," he says.

 

Landrith had been raped.

 

That was 1990. Since then, Landrith -- a former Marine based at Camp Lejeune -- has spoken out on behalf of sexual assault victims, in particular men who were victimized by women. He didn't seek prosecution of his alleged rapist, but he wants other victims to feel free to talk about sexual assault and pursue justice without shame.

 

"I want people to understand that it's not about how physically strong you are," he says. "We [men] are conditioned to believe that we cannot be victimized in such a way."

 

According to a 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States have been raped. The actual number is likely higher, experts say, as incidents of sexual violence are severely underreported in the United States -- particularly among male victims.

 

Experts say any sexual assault victim requires extensive emotional and psychological healing after the incident, but male survivors have a harder time putting words to what happened.

 

In 2012, the FBI's Uniform Crime Report made a significant stride by redefining rape as: "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

 

The prior definition -- "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will" -- hadn't been changed since 1927, and sexual assault awareness groups say it alienated victims that didn't fit the mold.

 

"Often, male survivors may be less likely to identify what happened to them as abuse or assault because of the general notion that men always want sex," says Jennifer Marsh, the vice president for Victim Services at RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization.

 

"Males have the added burden of facing a society that doesn't believe rape can happen to them ... at all," says psychotherapist Elizabeth Donovan.

 

She says gender roles dictate that males are expected to be strong and self-reliant -- men are viewed as those who seek sexual conquests instead of those who "fend them off."

 

The concept of female-on-male sexual assault has recently gained traction on the Web via the ever-provocative entertainer Chris Brown. Brown recently revealed shocking details to Decca Aitkenhead in the Guardian about his first sexual encounter.

 

"He lost his virginity when he was 8 years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? 'Yeah, really. Uh-huh.' He grins and chuckles. 'It's different in the country.' "

 

Tom Hawking of FlavorWire is one of many writers who took umbrage with this particular anecdote, asking in an article, "Why Is No One Talking About the Fact That Chris Brown Was Raped?"

 

Trauma recovery counselor Stephanie Baird says men who experience sexual attention as children, as Brown did, often explain it to themselves as "I'm a stud, I got laid by ..."

 

"They do this in order to feel as if they had some power and say," she says.

 

In addition to this macho posturing, there's also the hot-for-teacher or -babysitter complex that is a popular motif in modern American culture.

 

"Because of the culture of 'Mrs. Robinson' it can be much more difficult for a male to even recognize that the action is abusive or without consent," Baird says.

 

Consent, she says, means "being of age, mind, sound body to make an informed decision about whether one would like to become sexually intimate with the other person." Children cannot consent.

 

The chatter over Brown comes in tandem with recent research published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics that says nearly 1 in 10 youths between 14 and 21 years old have reported perpetrating some type of sexual violence in their lifetime.

 

The study also found that males and females carried out sexual violence at strikingly similar rates after the age of 18 -- 52% of males and 48% of females. The study classified sexual violence into a few categories: foresexual or presexual contact (kissing, touching, etc. against their will), coercive sex, attempted rape, and completed rape. Women were more likely to instigate unwanted foresexual contact.

 

For male sexual assault victims of any age, convincing others that they've been preyed upon is difficult as well. Experts say the general disparity in physical strength comes into play -- can't a man fight off a woman?

 

"It's a tough call; people think men can't be raped and they don't understand that in the confusion no still means no," says Curtis St. John, a representative for MaleSurvivor, a national support group for male sexual victimization.

 

Further muddying the water is the fact that some men can perform sexually, even including orgasm, and still be raped.

 

In an article in the Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine, Roy J. Levin and Willy Van Berlo found that even in men who have not consented to sex, slight stimulation of the genitals or an increase in stress can create erections "even though no specific sexual stimulation is present."

 

" 'Were you aroused?' " is a question posed to male victims, St. John says. "You don't hear it with female rape victims. It's an interesting question that men get asked."

 

Long-term effects of being sexually assaulted can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, avoidance of intimacy or the stark opposite -- hyper-sexuality, says St. John.

 

"Some men feel a need to prove their masculinity by becoming hyper-masculine," Donovan says.

 

As for coping, Marsh at RAINN says it's never too late to reach out for help. But with the stigma attached, survivors may not feel comfortable talking to their friends and family because the victims themselves haven't defined their experience as assault.

 

For Landrith, it starts with confronting rape for what it is and sharing experiences.

 

"Whenever you talk about male survivors, women have it statistically worse, but it's not a competition -- and we each need our time to talk about it," he says.

 


 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/09/living/chris-brown-female-on-male-rape/index.html

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 October 2013 )
 
So, Hugo Schwyzer Joins the Ranks of Male Suvivors (or That Ain't An Excuse)
User Rating: / 6
Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Sunday, 06 October 2013

For the record:  I thought long and hard about posting this article.  I've made my peace with my doubts and believe it needs to be said.  If you disagree, so be it.

 

Well, Hugo Schwyzer disclosed today that he is a male rape survivor.  Okay.

 

He also apologized for the disgusting, abusive and arrogant manner in which he has treated male survivors for YEARS.  He took the posting down, but I've excerpted it below with my own comments interspersed (cached article here). 

 

Hugo Schwyzer on "I’m sorry for denying male rape victims. I was one., posted October 6, 2013":

 

"The breakthrough came in therapy this week. I had been raped. It happened in 1986, a generation ago, when I was an attention-starved 19 year-old. My rapist was an older Navy sailor, a massive man. I changed several details of our story for a piece that ran in Best Sex Writing 2012. I made it sound consensual, I made it sound hot, It was neither of those things."

 

Schwyzer is claiming he was raped.  I have no reason to disbelieve him on that and I have seen male survivors in denial who willingly hurt other male rape survivors.  This would not be beyond belief, nor out of the realm of my own personal experience.

 

"The vulnerability of men and boys to rape is real and undersold. Despite what a handful of men’s rights advocates insist, the greatest threat isn’t predatory older women. It’s older men. We know the truth about the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, but what about other institutions in the US and Israel? Are we doing enough to protect our sons as well as our daughters?"

 

No, we are clearly failing our daughters AND sons across the board.  Sadly, Schwyzer helped to foster an environment that minimized and silenced male survivors. Further, society at large and many self-appointed mouthpieces on sexual violence are still actively denying the amount of female predation in this world as well.  It isn't a damned competition.  Why is it so hard to care about ALL PREDATORS without caveat?  Schwyzer still has a great deal of growing to do in this area.

 

"Technically, I was a legal adult when I was raped by a man twice my age. Had I been a 19 year-old girl assaulted by a sailor in his 40s, there might have been more sympathy. I won’t know, as I only broke down in group therapy this week and told the story about Mike from the USS Mt Vernon and what he did to my body and soul. Given my current state of public disrepute, this might seem a bid for attention. It’s not."

 

I have no problem believing that he was raped.  Whether it is a bid for attention or not would be a separate issue. 

 

"I’ve spent my whole life worrying about men as predators and dismissing the idea of men as victims. I haven’t wanted to see my own victimization as plausible, and I haven’t wanted to remember the details of what got done to me on May 24, 1986, in a seedy little Monterey motel."

 

Hugo did more than dismiss us.  He went on the offensive, minimized our traumas, mocked our concerns and outright acted like an enormous bully.  I do wish him success in healing from this trauma, but that does not excuse his prior bad acts and incredible arrogance toward other male survivors.

 

"Mike scared me, he beat me, he throat-fucked me and told me he’d kill me if I beat him. He hurt me badly. Some of my rage and fear at men has been with me ever since, and it has shown in my politics and my refusal to acknowledge that boys and men can be comparably harmed."

 

That sounds like a horrible and traumatic experience.  As far as Schwyzer's revelation regarding his lack of compassion toward other survivors, that is a copout and an excuse.  Hugo is gonna have to do much better than that.  Schwyzer owes a debt to the male rape survivors he willfully and arrogantly harmed over the years.  The people who aided him in such endeavours share a similar debt.  Schwyzer had more than a little bit of help in this regard.  I'm not excusing his colluding former friends and colleagues who willfully engaged in same.

 

"Too little, too late."

 

He got that right.  To ever earn my trust  or respect, it truly is "too little, too late."  However, it is never to late to begin to heal from any trauma.  Time for Schwyzer to shut his mouth, take the lumps he has earned - and he has earned them all in truckloads - and focus on his mental health.  Multiple groups of human beings have their own right to be angry with the likes of Hugo Schwyzer and some of his inner circle of supporters. 

 

Time for Schwyzer to listen and learn.  He has done far too much talking already.

 

 

 

About James A. Landrith

James Landrith is a healing rape survivor, public speaker, internationally syndicated blogger, civil liberties activist and the notorious editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist (ISSN: 1552-3446) and The Abolitionist Examiner (ISSN: 1552-2881).  He is also the VP-Media Relations for Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma.  Landrith can be reached by email at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  or at his personal website/blog.


 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 October 2013 )
 
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