Lord Omlette's !LiveJournal (lordomlette) wrote,
Lord Omlette's !LiveJournal

Day 75: Wednesday 27 May 2020 by Lord Omlette


Derp in the Time of Coronavirus

Goddammit, the dipshit I spent 2 hours last night debugging for was looking in the wrong place! I even have pictures and everything telling people where to look! Arg.

Woke up half an hour late, but got going as soon as I got out of bed instead of doing nothing until I noticed the sun was ready to set. That was nice.

Lunch = pb sandwich - coffee. Out of bread now. Should've gone grocery shopping *much* sooner, ugh.

Neighbor was banging on the walls so hard that 2 of the pictures fell off the walls, damaging the frames. Fucking wonderful.

Put the finishing touches on getting Imrik's dragons into the High Elf Units for High Elfs mod. Had to force myself to learn how the mission manager worked since there's no way to grant myself influence via script. wide eyed

Dinner = Tony Boloney's. Fuck you, Uber Eats. ♥

Virtual WNA - They were doing some Terraria event, so we didn't play Mysterium until much later. I was the only one who didn't win, mostly because I wasn't paying attention.

Stayed up rather late because my Imrik campaign was fucking banging, but also because taking out the garbage took forever and a fucking day...


How are things going in Afghanistan? About as well as you'd expect. Seriously.

The Taliban and the Afghan government announced a cease-fire for the three days of the Islamic festival Eid al-Fitr, which starts on Sunday in Afghanistan, offering the war-torn nation a rare respite from violence that has been intensifying. The insurgents, in a statement late Saturday, said they had instructed their fighters to attack only if their positions were hit. Hours later, President Ashraf Ghani, who recently ordered his troops to move into offensive operations amid the increasing Taliban attacks, said Afghan security forces would comply.

"I welcome the cease-fire announced by the Taliban, and last evening I have ordered the security and defense forces to comply completely with the cease-fire and to remain on the defensive," Mr. Ghani said. In a sign of reciprocating the Taliban's compromise, Mr. Ghani said he would expedite the release of insurgent prisoners in the hopes of building further trust in a fragile peace process.

This is only the second brief cease-fire that both sides have agreed to during the nearly two decades since the American invasion toppled the Taliban government in 2001. The first cessation of violence, during Eid in 2018, was widely celebrated across Afghanistan as a rare glimpse of what the country could look like without war. Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic holiday that signifies the end of Ramadan, the holy month of daytime fasting.

Mujib Mashal

The American combat presence in Afghanistan hasn't made a lot of sense for quite some time now. Like the Russians, British, Romans, and Macedonians before us, we learned that nobody really wants Afghanistan except the people who live there. Once al Qaeda's headquarters was cleaned out and/or moved to Pakistan, the mission dissolved into a muddle. Were we establishing a peaceful democracy there? A great number of the people there seemed unimpressed. Now, with the end of American involvement looming, the Taliban has reorganized itself in preparation for what comes next.

… There is nothing left for the United States to do in Afghanistan except leave it. The odds are that the consequences will be violent and unpleasant. Domestic repercussions, heavily draped in self-righteousness, will be deafening. The eventual historical accounting will be severe. A purpose for nearly 20 years of war will be as elusive as ever. Wars don't end cleanly anymore.

Charles P. Pierce
All the more reason not to jump into them in the first place! cry

This article makes an excellent case that I (and others) have been too harsh on Tara Reade, even though she is a goddamn ratfucker.

Tara Reade deserved better than The Katie Halper Show. Reade came forward in the spring of 2019 with a credible allegation of sexual harassment against her former employer, Joe Biden, and in 2020 with a claim of sexual assault. Since that second allegation aired on Halper's podcast in March, Reade's account has been torn apart in the press, her private life has been invaded and dissected, and her reputation has been dragged through the mud. All of this could have been avoided. It's happening, simply, because the outlets who initially reported her claims had more interest in promoting their own agenda than in protecting survivors.

… Reade's personality has nothing to do with whether she was sexually assaulted, and her enemies' assessment of her character cannot clear Biden's name; only facts can do that. It's incredibly common for critics to undermine rape accusers with inflammatory but ultimately irrelevant personal details, which is exactly why it has been traditional to offer them anonymity in the press, and this vilification is why many fear coming forward. Certainly, Reade feared it in the Halper interview, where she dwelled at length on the fallout from her 2019 harassment allegation: "I was just totally decimated online on social media, and my reputation was torn apart," she said. "I was trying to do freelance work, and it's a hard thing... when people Google [my] name, they would find all kinds of weird things said about me."

… I've admittedly disagreed with Halper in the past, and I expect her to take issue with this characterization, but her judgment was called into question by far more sympathetic sources. Emily Alford at Jezebel pointed out that Reade's interview contained many details it would have been easy for a reporter to try to corroborate (a report Reade says she filed, the names of supervisors to whom she'd complained, a written record Reade says her mother urged her to keep) that Halper evidently hadn't followed up on. "Halper's rush to publish the allegations without doing due diligence in her reporting demonstrates either a lack of concern for how Reade might be raked over the coals or a lack of knowledge around journalistic best practices for sexual assault investigations and reporting," wrote Alford. She warned that "[Biden's ] supporters will most likely cleave to the lack of corroboration as evidence that Reade is lying," and "the gaps in reporting leave her defenseless."

Do they ever. Nearly every subsequent report has turned into a fact check of or contradicted some aspect of the initial story, from the witnesses who changed and sometimes contradicted their own stories (at least one told Laura McGann of Vox that there had been no sexual assault and that all the harassment had taken place in front of witnesses) to the location of the assault (Reade says she was assaulted "in an alcove," but the area she named has no alcoves). Journalists, who had been quietly tracking down evidence for months, had to explain why they hadn't seen fit to publish the story, in ways that were inevitably damaging to Reade. Character assassination, like the Politico piece, was able to pass as "fact-checking," simply because no facts had initially been checked, or even offered.

… What we do know, though, is that the political actors around Reade seem to have undermined her by trying to fit her story to their agenda. Halper has been a fervent supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and she aired the Reade interview in the final days of the Sanders campaign, when he was still in the race but losing badly. Given the calls for Biden to step down and give the nomination to Sanders that soon ensued in response to Reade's charges, it seems reasonable to assume that Halper hoped the interview would impact the race. But investigations take longer than primaries; a story which could have been damning, given a few months or years of reporting, was given an artificial deadline, and its rollout was correspondingly sloppy.

Sady Doyle
I quibble with the adjective "credible", however the rest of the article seems on point.

If you wish to comment, please do so at the entry itself and not on LJ. Thanks for reading!
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