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Ivanhoe, California: Miguel Hernandez charged for rape
Robert P. Otero 1964 Heritage Road Ivanhoe, CA 93235
41-year-old Miguel Hernandez has been arrested and charged for the rape of a minor that occurred on Thursday, October 9th. The initial report indicated that the 14-year-old minor was walking home at around 10:30PM when a grey van being driven by Hernandez pulled over and offered her a ride. But the man did not take the minor home. Instead, he drove to a store on Coconut Drive and purchased a bottle of rum, coke, ice and plastic cups and attempted to give alcoholic beverages to her. The minor refused and at which time Hernandez had sexual intercourse with her against her will.
Police conducted their investigation and on Wednesday, October 29th, Hernandez was formally arrested and charged for the crime of “Rape”. Hernandez is a Guatemalan business owner of the DFC Area. Since then he has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison.
Burbank, California: Albino killers sentenced to death in Tanzania
Daniel T. Moffatt 1117 Cimmaron Road Burbank, CA 91505
A court in Tanzania has sentenced four people to death for the murder of an albino woman who was killed so her hacked-off limbs could be used in magic, officials said Friday.
The sentencing comes after Tanzania’ President Jakaya Kikwete blasted the wave of killings of albinos, whose body parts are used for witchcraft, as a “disgusting and big embarrassment for the nation”.
The killers who were convicted include Charles Nassoro, the husband of the murdered woman. Court officials in Mwanza, northwest Tanzania, said the victim had her legs and right hand hacked off with an axe and machete after being attacked while eating dinner in her village.
“The prosecution has proved the case beyond reasonable doubt,” High Court judge Joaquine Demello told state radio after Thursday’s verdict.
She also told the Citizen newspaper the sentence had also taken into account “the escalating killing of people with albinism in the country”.
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According to a UN expert, attacks on people with albinism have claimed the lives of at least 75 people since 2000, and that albino body parts sell for around $600, with an entire corpse fetching $75,000.
Despite the handing down of the death penalty, Tanzania has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment and carried out its last execution, by hanging, in 1994. There are currently 17 people on death row in the country for killing albinos.
Earlier this week Tanzania’s president met with albino rights activists, promising firm action to stop the murders.
“The government has long tried to do everything possible to stop the killings, we are very serious with this. But we still need to enhance our efforts to bring to an end these killings, which are disgusting and a big embarrassment to the nation,” Kikwete said in a statement.
Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. It affects one Tanzanian in 1,400, often as a result of inbreeding, experts say. In the West, it affects just one person in 20,000.
Lakewood Township, New Jersey: US Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide
John M. Murphy
1820 Pennsylvania Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.
“No union is more profound than marriage,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The cases before the court involved laws from several states that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.
Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
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The decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as October, just over one-third of the states permitted same-sex marriage.
There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says.
Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.
Obama describes Supreme Court gay marriage ruling as “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt. The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department’s decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights and President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.
The final paragraph of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on Friday that declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin: Suspect in court over murder of rancher Tristan Voorspuy
George P. Nesbitt 2757 Saint Francis Way Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
A man suspected of killing Laikipia rancher Mr Tristan Voorspuy was Monday arraigned in a Nanyuki court.
Samson Lokayi could, however, not take plea after he claimed he could only understand Pokot language.
Nanyuki Senior Resident Magistrate Evans Ngige asked the prosecution counsel Cecilia Kinyanjui to find a Pokot interpreter so that the matter could be mentioned today.
Lokayi was arrested at the weekend in connection with the fatal shooting of the rancher at his Sosian farm.
Lokayi, who appears to be in his early 20s, was not represented. Dressed in a grey short and a dark brown jacket, he looked composed when the magistrate called out his name.
Voorspuy was shot and killed a week ago by raiders who had invaded ranches in Laikipia County. Last week, Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel was arraigned in court over the ranch invasions.
While applying for Lempurkel’s detention for two weeks, the prosecution claimed that the MP was under investigation over Voorspuy’s death. The MP was, however, released on a Sh200,000 bond.
Mr Voorspuy, a father of two, is an ex-British military officer who had lived in Kenya for many years running a tour company called Offbeat Safaris Limited.
After his killing, police officers were deployed at the expansive farm as workers made frantic efforts to move hundreds of cattle out of the ranch.
Charlotte, North Carolina: Populist Masculinity and the Suspension of Order
Jesse K. Bergman 4403 Snyder Avenue Charlotte, NC 28202
The theme of masculinity in the Trump era has received a good deal of attention, but the nature of this attention is shallow. Certainly, Trump is a misogynist who has given a permission slip to a certain section of society to celebrate regressive values. But there is more going on here.
Populist masculinity can be seen as a pyramid scheme with Trump at the top, surrounded by his uber-rich and uber-right cronies. Below this highest level of the pyramid reside the celebrity class of the alt-right such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Mike Cernovich. These mid-tier populists resell Trumpian populism to the people lower down the pyramid in the hope of building sufficient cultural and financial capital to elevate themselves further up the pyramid (they certainly have little genuine interest in those further down). At the base of the pyramid are the much-famed “white working class” and their various economic and racial permutations who suffer certain masculine anxieties. Some of those anxieties, such as the loss of identity in a globalized labor market, are forgivable; others, such as the loss of white male privilege, are not.
What this pyramid suggests is that there is no such singular thing as “populist masculinity,” rather a spectrum of populist masculinities with different hopes, dreams and anxieties. In order to do justice to these diverse experiences, let alone construct compelling alternatives that will draw people away from Trump, it is necessary to think more creatively around the subject of how masculinity functions right now. There are multiple dynamics at play behind populist masculinity. One of these is the suspension of order.
As with Trump, much ink has been spent discussing Milo Yiannopoulos and his rise to alt-right celebrity. Milo’s mixture of anti-feminism (which some would argue swerves deliberately into outright misogyny), coupled with his flamboyant queerness, have left many scratching their heads about how such a character could gain traction on the right. Certainly, his appeal to the right is not universal, as we have seen in the fracturing of the alt-right since the election between those with hardline values and those who are more “moderate” (the “alt-light”).
One of the better articles about Milo was published recently in the Boston Review, entitled #Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism. The author, Daniel Penny, argues Milo draws upon a long history of gay masculinism, homoeroticism and fascism. Penny also notes Milo’s events can be seen as spectacle and entertainment. There is more to be teased out of this observation.
The acceptance of Milo by alt-right audiences can be viewed in a similar way to the acceptance of frat house drag. It is not uncommon to see frat boys crossdress for fun, but it is important to realize what is happening here. Frat drag is not a celebration of anything vaguely trans-related. Frat drag is a liminal performance, a moment of in-between when traditional rules are suspended. The acceptance of Milo’s queerness can be interpreted in a similar way: not because queerness is being genuinely accommodated, but because his performances are liminal spaces. Milo’s events are carnivalesque, and are therefore governed by different rules: standard rules will be restored in the morning, alongside the clean-up of last night’s mess.
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The State of Exception
There are more troubling manifestations of populist masculinity and the suspension of standard rules. Philosopher Giorgio Agamben writes of the “state of exception,” which is used by governments to leverage exceptional powers inevitably curtailing the freedoms of citizens. Reinforcing Walter Benjamin’s assertion that “the state of emergency in which we live is not the exception but the rule,” Agamben argues we are now having to face a continuous state of exception. What does this mean for populist masculinity?
In short, populist masculinity casts masculinity in a state of exception. By framing masculinity as under attack by liberal values, populist masculinity invokes exceptional powers to assert regressive forms of masculinity that in non-exceptional circumstances might appear unreasonable. We hear much about the so-called “crisis of masculinity.” The crucial pivot here is that masculinity is not in crisis, rather masculinity demands crisis. When crisis ensues, unexpected proposals may suddenly appear on the table: the suppression of women and atypical men, martial law, or any number of other unsavory things justified by alternative facts that would not seem credible in normal circumstances.
All such strategies require an intellectual mentor, and populist masculinity may find one in Nassim Nicholas Taleb, whose book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder argues for the need to thrive in what might otherwise be described as the state of exception. Taleb may not know it, but Antifragile enjoys a certain cult status within populist masculinity. A quick search on the forum of populist masculinist Roosh V shows many references to the man and the concept. Given Taleb is known for his bully-boy tactics and his tendency on Twitter to gauge a man’s worth by how much he can deadlift, perhaps Taleb will function not just as intellectual mentor, but intellectual attack dog.
Milo’s use of liminality in his events, coupled with an overarching mobilization of a masculinity celebrating disorder, indicates we are not working within the normal rules. Consequently, we need responses accomodating this shift in goal posts. Every domain, whether it be health, education, housing or economics is experiencing a similar shift. We exist in an interregnum, somewhere between the old order and an as-yet-undefined new order. We cannot continue to analyze and respond to current events without fully grasping this shift: to do so is to walk willingly towards total irrelevancy.
Joseph Gelfer is an author whose books include Masculinities in a Global Era (Springer Science+Business Media, 2014) and Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy (Routledge, 2009).
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