in ava and c.i.'s 'Media: Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs,' they wrote:
Back to GAY RIGHTS REVOKED. There might be a point to it for some
gay viewers. There's a NIFTY.ORG novel*, for example, entitled DOG DAYS ARE BEGINNING by Henry Wolf set in the future where there are norms and subs:
Normals (Norms) and submissives (subs) were a normal part of everyday society. Norms were first class citizens with full human rights and freedoms, whereas subs were second class citizens. They were owned by Norms, considered pets and had very little rights and freedoms. No one was forced into being a sub, it was a choice. Some did it because it was a part of their nature, their desire to submit to a more dominant person. Some did it because they enjoyed the aspect of being a pet, even going as far as amending their physical appearance. Others did it for financial reasons; the cost of living was less for a sub due to not having to wear as much clothes, having a more restricted diet, and being owned meant a Norm would be financially responsible for their wellbeing. In a way, it was liberating for those who couldn't handle the responsibilities and pressures of everyday life and needed a Norm to take care of them as their property. In terms of employment, subs were well sought after: they were only paid a portion of what a Norm's salary would be so companies saved money while having their tasks completed, they mostly worked in menial jobs doing work Norms didn't want to, and they were often not treated with the same rights as Norms, which was completely legal given their second class citizenship. For subs looking for employment, this meant easy work and employment, albeit at a lower salary. But for those looking for experience, it meant a step in the door for future job security, with only a temporary position as a sub human being. Many people put up with the humiliation and degradation as a sub for a few months or a year and came out the other side with experience ready to be employed as a full Norm.
Mark and Steve are two husbands. Mark's employed. Steve just graduated and is having trouble finding a job. Mark offers to look at his employer and see if they have any jobs? He later will nonchalantly (to us, anyway) offer that they have positions but just for subs. Maybe Steve could be a sub for a year? Get the job, work it a year and then stop being a sub and get a non-sub job at the same company?
Of course, Mark says, they can't just claim Steve's a sub. He'd have to sign papers and do a one-week training.
And maybe that's where the story is heading (Steve's in the midst of his one-week training currently) or maybe when Steve's done he's going to find out that Mark wasn't as happy with the marriage as he pretended and he's really wanting Steve to be a sub who he can control? For other recent NIFTY offerings of that sort, see REPAIRMAN SUBMISSION and ROBERT MICHAELS JOURNEY TO SUBMISSION.
i've got 8 e-mails asking me to comment on the way 'dog days are beginning' wrapped up. the final chapter went up july 4th.
and the 8 e-mails i got on it? people hate it.
well, sorry to break it to henry wolf but he didn't write 'the winds of war.' he didn't even write a young adult novel. he wrote erotica for a website that posts erortica.
mark and steve were the couple every 1 cared about. here's how author henry elected to wrap their story up:
Steve saw Mark over in the corner. He ran to his husband, tears in his eyes at seeing his husband for the first time in a week. "Good to see you," Mark laughed, hugging Steve, his large arms engulfing his husband. "I missed you," Steve kissed him. "Me too, I love the new hairdo by the way," Mark rubbed Steve's buzz cut. It had grown a bit since it had been shaved off but was still short. "It's one of the many things that are different," Steve smiled. The applicants were all getting acquainted with their respective family and friends until they began being called into the office to get their results. It was soon Steve's turn. Mark went with him, keeping hold of his hand as a support. Steve felt a cold sweat pass over him. He breathed deeply to calm himself. The two men sat themselves down at a across from a clerk. It was the woman from the week before. She was shuffling through papers on her desk. "Well congratulations are in order. You passed your final test so you're now a certified sub," the clerk smiled. Steve nearly leapt from his chair with elation. He had been through so much hardship over the past week, but it had all paid off. He'd managed to rise to the top and prove himself as worthy of being a sub. Mark squeezed his hand. "Well done babe," he said smiling and hugging his husband. "I have all your paperwork here," the clerk placed some papers in front of the two men. "This certificate proves your accreditation as a legal sub, you are now legally a second-class citizen, your rights as a Norm are now revoked and your freedoms and restrictions are at the discretion of your owner. Please sign at the bottom, Steve." Steve signed his signature on the paper. The clerk photocopied it, giving a copy to Steve and filing one away. It was overwhelming. With a signature, his life had changed. He was now lesser than what he had been. He hadn't much time to ponder over it as the clerk efficiently continued. "This is for you, Mark," the clerk handed a sheet to Mark. "It is a proof of ownership of Steve, your sub, please sign at the bottom." Mark signed it and the clerk again photocopied it gave and a copy to Mark. "Keep that safe. From this point forward you have full ownership over Steve, mind and body. Steve is your property. Any finances, assets, or possessions that Steve once owned are now legally yours." With that Steve now belonged to Mark. He was a piece of property owned by his husband. His life was changed forever.
that should have been the start of the chapter - chapter 8, by the way.
instead, that's how the main story wraps in so-called erotica.
some 1 needs to break it to henry that he needs to work real hard on his writing.
1) his characters weren't that memorable. the only reason to keep reading was to find out what happened to steve. was mark really going to help him or was mark about to enjoy his husband becoming his property? was he going to make steve sit on the floor - when they were out or at home? that was part of the rules, remember?
2) writing is not a list that goes a to z covering every damn point.
good writing is selecting the moments worth capturing.
so many of the 'exercises' and trainings steve was put through were boring and dull and could have been summed up in 2 paragraphs tops. instead, he felt the need to give each day of training a chapter. it was boring.
people endured it because they thought they were going to find out what happened to mark and steve after this huge shift in their lives.
good writing is also grasping that supporting and minor characters don't need endings. no 1 gave a damn about the others in steven's class. they weren't interesting characters, we didn't meet them before training and we didn't need to hear about them in the final chapter.
so much that was posted should have been edited out.
now henry ends by informing readers of the following:
There we have it! A happy end to the training for everyone! The first cycle of the story is now complete. The next cycle will focus on Steve and Mark at home as they explore their new dynamic, as well as Steve in his job. There will be new settings, new characters, and new storylines. But who knows, we may bump into some familiar faces! I'll be taking a short reprieve (to work on some other shorter works) before jumping into the second cycle of this story, but I'll be back soon!
the next cycle?
you wrote eight chapters -- eight overly long chapters - and only chapter one stands as worth reading. why the f**k should anyone bother to read anything else? especially when we now know the author is a cock tease who will never really 'put out' and give you the story he's promising?
this wasn't writing, this was abuse of the reader.
here's 'the gay gaston.'
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Thursday, July 8, 2021. Tensions continue to flare in Iraq as two US service members are injured in an attack.
Basic truth: If US troops aren't stationed in Iraq, they can't get injured in Iraq. But they are and they do. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Two US service members were injured Wednesday in a rocket attack targeting the al-Asad airbase in Iraq which hosts US, Iraqi, and coalition forces." Caitlin McFall (FOX NEWS) adds, "U.S. officials told Fox News that one of the American service members injured during the rocket attack suffered a concussion while the other had minor scrapes following the incident." Chad Garland (STARS AND STRIPES) explains, "About 14 rockets fell on al Asad Air Base at about 12:30 p.m., said U.S. Army Col. Wayne Marotto, a coalition spokesman, who confirmed the injuries and that all personnel had been accounted for."
ANI points out, "This is the second rocket attack on the Ain Al-Assad base this week. On Monday, the air base was hit by three rockets that did not result in any injuries or material damage." And if you pull back a little so you're not zooming in on just al-Assad, the picture gets even worse. Jeff Schogol (TASK AND PURPOSE) offers this context, "Wednesday’s rocket attack on Al-Asad Air Base marks the third time in as many days that U.S. installations in Iraq have come under fire — and it is still not clear who is responsible for the recent strikes." Attacks that continued today in Iraq as ARAB WEEKLY notes, "Three rockets were fired at the US embassy in Iraq early Thursday, the Iraqi army said, at the end of a day marked by rocket and drone attacks on bases hosting American forces in Iraq and Syria." NEWSWEEK's Tom O'Connor informs:
Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Yahya Rasool had earlier condemned such strikes in the wake of previous operations against Ain al-Asad Air Base in Al-Anbar Province, which injured two personnel of yet undisclosed affiliation, and Erbil Air Base in the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Referring to these operations as "terrorist" attacks, Rasool said that "once again, the enemies of Iraq are intrusive and targeting the country's security, sovereignty and the safety of our citizens."
He also referred to earlier attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad as illegal.
Rasool said the perpetrators were "targeting the headquarters of diplomatic missions that fall under the protection of the state, which represents a flagrant violation of all laws, and an attack on the prestige of the state and its international obligations."
Iraq was raised in yesterday's US State Dept press briefing held by spokesperson Ned Price:
QUESTION: Can I just ask about Iraq? There has been quite a bit of an increase in rocket attacks. Iraqi army officials say the pace of recent attacks against U.S. bases and with rockets and drones is unprecedented. Why do you think that is on the rise at this particular moment? What is your assessment on who is behind it?
MR PRICE: Well, I’d have to correct one thing you said. There are no U.S. bases in Iraq.
MR PRICE: There are a limited number of U.S. and other coalition advisors —
QUESTION: U.S. and coalition, yeah.
MR PRICE: — at Iraqi bases, at Iraqi Government invitation that, in turn, assist and enable Iraqi Security Forces to confront the remnants of ISIS. Look, I wouldn’t want to speak to the motivation of these attacks. I will say that what we recognize is that these attacks reflect and are representative of the threat that Iran-backed militias present fundamentally to Iraq’s sovereignty and to Iraq’s stability. We —
QUESTION: Do you know for a fact that they’re carried out by Iranian-backed militias, these attacks over the past couple of days?
MR PRICE: So obviously there have been recent attacks, and I wouldn’t want to prejudge investigations that are ongoing. But as we have said in the context of attacks that have taken place in recent months, they have been carried out by Iran-backed militias and President Biden, in turn, has responded – responded in different ways. But of course, perhaps most visibly, by authorizing the military strikes – most recently late last month, but also before that as well – on Iran-backed militia infrastructure in Iraq and Syria.
US military spokesperson Col Wayne Marotto was a little more specific on Twitter regarding the al-Assad base attack. He typed:
while reTweeting the following photos of destruction:
Meanwhile, Philip Athey (MARINE TIMES) notes a US fatality in Iraq:
A Marine Corps musician died in Iraq in April while on Marine Security Guard duty, according to a Navy safety report.
Marine Sgt. Amanda Nicole Brazeal, 26, from Chunchula, Alabama, enlisted in the Corps in 2017 shortly after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in music, according to her obituary.
Jerry Genesio Tweets this morning about the passing:
And, weeks ago, Kaitain Tweeted:
In case the video in the Tweet directly above didn't show up, here it is via YOUTUBE.
US troops wouldn't be wounded or dead in Iraq if . . . they weren't in Iraq. What's the excuse -- the sorry excuse -- for US troops still being on the ground in Iraq?
Yet again, a base hosting U.S. and other allied troops was attacked by rocket fire on July 7 in Iraq. While there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, a series of U.S.-launched bombings against Iranian-backed militias that are suspected of having committed similar attacks in the past in Syria and Iraq raises the question of what happens next.
If precedent is of any relevance, however, we can expect a U.S. retaliation against whoever is believed to be behind the attacks. As Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has made clear in the past, the U.S. believes it has full legal justification to launch such attacks.
"As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. As a matter of domestic law, the President took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq," Kirby said after strikes launched against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria on June 27.
However, this is a flimsy argument since the U.S. and its allies are occupying these two sovereign countries illegally. This is not just a blanket condemnation of all U.S. military occupations around the globe, which is something not at all difficult to justify, but a mere observation of the fact that both Baghdad and Damascus have made clear that U.S. and U.S.-allied troops are not welcome.
For its part, Damascus has made this clear from the very beginning of the Syrian conflict that the U.S. is an occupying force and, for its part, the U.S. has made it clear that it does not accept the legitimacy of the current Syrian government nor respects the sovereignty of Syria as a state since it is currently occupying about one-third of the country's land.
I don't disagree with his outrage or with his argument that US troops should leave.
But we do need to note that he invoked "legally" and, legally, the occupation is not illegal. The Iraq War remains illegal. The occupation has not been. After the start of the war, the United Nations offered legal cover for various countries -- including the US and the UK. After the UN mandates were discontinued, they were replaced by agreements for each occupying country. So, for example, the US negotiated its own agreement with the Iraqi government to continue the occupation.
If Bradley had argued that the puppet government created, installed and fostered by foreign forces (such as the US) was itself illegal, he'd be on stronger ground for making the argument regarding the legality of the ongoing occupation. But even then, we'd be left with the reality that legal agreements -- by representatives of both governments (Iraq and the US) -- were in place covering the ongoing occupation.
He also doesn't know international law which he incorrectly invokes but we'll just make that observation and move on. (He can take it up with whomever fed him that interpretation he floats in his article which is histrionic but not accurate.)
Related, regarding Afghanistan, a lot of claims are being made. Including that the US is 'getting out' and the same should happen with Iraq. Anyone making those claims needs to refer to the Pentagon press briefing John Kirby held earlier this week (his only one so far this week). And then put on your thinking caps. Afghanistan? Troops can go back in. That's openly offered in that briefing. And that certainly happened in Iraq following the drawdown (not a withdrawal).
While we're noting the ridiculous, let's note a new report that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the US Stated Dept are rather proud of. They're pride is highly misplaced for numerous reasons. We'll stay with our focus on Iraq and just note that a report entitled "The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Congressional Report" -- a report which is 42 pages when appendices are included -- but never manages to even name check Iraq in a single sentence is a report that's a joke. Afghanistan, Brazil, etc -- most foreign countries are mentioned throughout -- usually multiple times. Iraq?
Not once. Sometimes silence says more than words ever do.
If you have time to waste, [PDF format warning], here's the report.
That report was sent to Congress.
The same Congress that has leadership -- in the Democratic Party -- that were pressing US President Joe Biden for 'action' earlier this week when the bases in Iraq were being attacked and who are only upping the pressure now that 2 US troops have been injured.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is arguing for something "visible" and "sweeping" -- something in an aerial response. She's among those -- and again, these are Dems advocating -- insisting that a response must be carried out and it must not look ''weak.''
Did Nancy really invoke the term "savages"? I'm told she did. Hopefully, she was just referring to those she labels "terrorists" and not the Iraqi people but, with Nancy, who knows?
The latest column from Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) went up yesterday and the excerpt below is from it:
When the people get a little help, as happened with additional stimulus funds for the unemployed, politicians across the country took up arms for the ruling class and turned down free money just to stay in the good graces of their bosses.
Currently 25 states out of 50 have rejected additional help for the unemployed. The money came from the federal government and didn’t impact state budgets, but politicians know who calls the shots. When called upon to help struggling people they chose to do just the opposite. They helped their exploiters and in the process made a mockery of what passes for democracy.
There is no labor shortage in this country. Instead, there is a shortage of jobs that pay a living wage and that is because of the power of capitalists. They have grown richer precisely because they have forced workers to live in a constant state of precarity, and now it is quite literally better to stay home than to work for a pittance.
Of course, the richest man in the world, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is a master at coming up with new ways to subjugate workers. Any reports of job growth should be viewed with a very jaundiced eye as predatory capitalism has driven down wages and created a dystopia for workers. Bezos has mastered squeezing the most and giving the least.
Amazon warehouse workers suffer from injuries at higher rates than other employees in similar jobs but the injuries are part of the cost of doing business. It is expected that the grueling working conditions will create high turnover which is exactly what Amazon wants. A revolving door of employees serves their needs quite nicely. Bezos made a big deal about a $15 per hour starting salary but he could certainly afford to pay a lot more, a real living wage. The tight-fisted billionaire who could potentially become a trillionaire got rich the old fashioned way. He cheats workers.
Bezos also comes up with new and ingenious ways to spread the suffering. Amazon Flex delivery drivers are hired by apps and fired by algorithms. They have no interaction with human resources or any humans at all and they must pay a $200 fee to contest terminations that are rarely decided in their favor.
Even when American workers lose their jobs they are still at the mercy of corporate giants. ID.me contracts with states to provide public access to web sites such as those used for unemployment claims. Their facial recognition software doesn’t verify everyone properly and desperate people wait days and weeks for their unemployment payments to arrive. As with Amazon there is no one to speak to for help. But state governments turn over millions of dollars to ID.me in order to cheat people out of benefits they have earned. Currently 30 states contract with ID.me to make sure that the most vulnerable are kicked while they are down.
The algorithm hirings and firings and the facial recognition technology problems are not bugs in the system. They are features. They are doing precisely what they are intended to do, keep workers poor, desperate, and at the mercy of capitalists. Cruelty is the point.
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- TV: Some stories aren't really worth telling
- The climate crisis
- KINDLE UNLIMITED (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)
- Tweet of the week
- Track to check out
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