Friday, July 19, 2019

Gif of the Day

Ahhhhhh so pretty and hypnotic.

This is Some Heartless Bullshit


Okay back to your regularly scheduled awful. The Trump administration is making it so refugees can't come here to apply for asylum. Instead, they have to apply at the first "safe" country they enter and then wait for approval, which I'm assuming would take years, and also when and where and how will they appear in front of a judge to argue their case? Does that not happen? This is all just fucked.

Trump Administration Implementing '3rd Country' Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

So, that "third country" is going to be Mexico for all the people fleeing Guatemala. Mexico is not considered to be a safe country by like, anybody, least of all the Trump administration or Trump supporters who call all Mexican men rapists and imply that Mexico is where all the drugs are coming. And sure, a lot of drugs do pass though Mexico via various and very violent drug cartels, which is why it's not considered a safe place to stay. Also, Mexico is where that horrific video of the woman pleading for help through a hole in a migrant prison camp while other prisoners rioted because they were starving and didn't have clean water came from.

But, and I can't stress this enough, Mexico's drug problem is largely a result of the U.S. bullshit "war on drugs." Same for Central America.

Anyway, that's just Guatemalan refugees. Those coming from El Salvador and Honduras? Will have to stay in Guatemala. Where many of the other asylum seekers are coming from because OBVIOUSLY IT'S NOT FUCKING SAFE. But the Trump administration is trying to magically say Guatemala is a safe country for the sake of this heartless policy that is just a giant "fuck you" to asylum seekers which the U.S. created.

This would be unlikely to slow the rate of asylum seekers coming to the U.S. because even if they hear about the new policy, they're not going to care. It's about getting to a safe place for them and their families and the U.S. has spent the past couple hundred years claiming to be the best country on the planet soooooo....

All it will do is officially criminalize all asylum seekers who make it here. They'll be able to throw them all in concentration camps indefinitely and won't have to deal with the rest of us constantly screaming SEEKING ASYLUM IS NOT A CRIME.

The policy will be challenged in court, but who the fuck knows what will happen anymore in this country? And even if it gets struck down, this is still such a massive dick move. The Trump Administration is completely devoid of humanity and I wish we could deport them all to the sun.

How the fuck are you going to accuse people who walk across the entirety of Mexico of abusing the system? Fuck off and die.

Some Heartwarming Stuff Because We Need It

It's been a little rough writing and reading about so much awful stuff every day as Lord Dampnut sounds more and more like the KKK/fucking Hitler while stadiums full of his supporters cheer him on. It's also been rough because I'm really trying to open myself up and let myself feel stuff instead of suppressing every emotion to cope. So I'm going to try and post some more positive stuff, and also it might help you feel better.

Firstly, this video of Ilhan Omar's supporters welcoming her home to Minnesota at the airport is really about to make me cry.

They're actually chanting "welcome home, Omar" in the most heartwarming defiance of a wannabe dictator fascist who told her to go back to where she came from. Because the U.S. and Minnesota are her home. She belongs here and I love her.

Then there's this ad for a Dublin-based bus company or Dublin's public transportation department or whatever showing young LGBTQ+ people inviting their senior counterparts to Pride because they had never been before. I was actually asked to write an article about this for a site you might want to bookmark called Tank's Good News. I don't know who Tank is but the website is just heartwarming stories.

Video Of Young People Inviting LGBT+ Seniors To Their First Pride Has Everyone Crying

You don't really need to read the article, just watch the video.

There are so many good people in the world. Evil people tend to hoard all the money and power so they're hard to fight, but no matter what it's a comfort to know that there are so many good people out there who are full of love and acceptance instead of judgment and hate.

What's also making me tear up is this quote from the Talmud, attributed to Rabbi Tarfon:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Thanks, man, I'll try.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Gif of the Day

No idea what this is from or why this man has mismatched shoes, but it's somehow compelling.

Don't Shop At Goodwill


Goodwill has already been on my shit list for paying its disabled workers less than minimum wage with the excuse of "it's either that or nothing" which is what they used to say about all workers before they fought and died for minimum wage jobs, but now they're actively and openly discriminating against disabled workers by saying that they will stop paying them entirely in the face of minimum wage increases.

Goodwill pulls paychecks from disabled workers

Sharon Durbin, President and Chief Executive Officer at Land of Lincoln Goodwill, told dozens of disabled thrift store workers they would no longer receive a paycheck as a result of the state’s new minimum wage increase, and she warns future job cuts could still be coming to the last 11 remaining disabled employees still on the payroll.

Welcome to another installment of "uhhhhhhmmmmm I thought you couldn't do that?"

I don't think non-profits are exempt from anti-discrimination laws, especially ones as big as Goodwill. But apparently they are when it comes to disability, because ableism is that bad.

Also, Goodwill should not be allowed to be a non-profit because they actually make a lot of profit and don't really help anybody.

Also, you currently only employ 11 disabled employees? Out of 450 total employees? Then that makes you a big ol' liar, doesn't it?

The loud speaker broadcasts a message that reminds shoppers, “At Goodwill, every item you buy, and every item you donate funds job training and so much more.” Literature hanging in the lobby announces that “we train and support over 1,000 people with developmental disabilities.”

Better take that shit down if you're gonna employ zero.

So what it sounds like is that they're not going to fire the disabled employees, they'll just make them work for free under the excuse/lie that they're giving them "job training." Bullshit. What you're doing is going from underpaying them to making them little more than slaves. And I don't want to hear thing one about minimum wage increases when you don't even pay all of your workers minimum wage and when all the evidence shows that minimum wage increases increase profits to businesses, especially ones that serve the people who get minimum wage like Goodwill because those people are able to buy more things.

But regardless, this is rank ableism, right out in the open. This is treating disabled people as less than people. This is pretending that disabled people don't need money to live like everyone else, or don't deserve to live because of their disability. And government disability payments are not enough for anyone to live on, which is why, as the article points out, many of them have to live in "group homes."

Fuck Goodwill all the way to the bank. If they won't pay their workers, I won't shop there ever again, and neither should you. Go to real thrift shops that actually use the money they receive to help people. Don't support ableism.

Recommended Reading

Remember when the "alt-right" first became a thing and I declared I was going to look through their online forums and shit every weekday to keep track of what they were up to? That fell right on its face because, as it turns out, my ability to look into the void is limited. But some people have spent years doing just this, and one individual in particular, Gwen Snyder, has been creating an amazing Twitter thread series explaining everything that every average person needs to know about modern white supremacist and neo-nazi symbology, language, subgroups, and culture.

Of course, there are many trigger warnings to be aware of before you dive in, including racial and ethnic slurs, violence and murder, and general nazi shit.

Snyder posted part three of this thread series yesterday, and it continues to be incredible. Though I am more familiar than the average person with all this bizarre and ever-changing nazi shit, I have still learned things from this thread that will make me better able to spot the enemy. Everything I already knew has been accurate, so I stand by the series. It's a fascinating, entertaining, and pretty easy read, and I highly recommend it if you want to avoid and protect yourself against the world's worst human beings.

Gwen Snyder is an artist and a "West Philly SJW researching radical white supremacy." She is also a perfect human being doing the work of god and my hero. If you're still not intrigued, the information you will learn involved frogs in rainbow clown wigs, Minecraft, and virgins chugging milk.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Gif of the Day

Don't worry, there wasn't actually an explosion. There's just a blog out there that adds explosions to gifs.

17-Year-Old Girl Murdered By Gamer Boyfriend


With all the other shit going on, this is another story to get buried, but this particular story (among many) of men murdering their female significant others is particularly gruesome and outlines the problem of intense misogyny among male gamers. Not only because the murderer is a gamer, but because of how the rest of the male gamer community responded to the news of her death.

People are flooding Instagram with pink clouds to drown out grisly images of slain teen

Two days after the brutal murder of an upstate New York teenager, Instagram is still having trouble scrubbing its platform of gruesome images and offensive memes related to the incident. 
Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old from Utica, New York, with a large following on Instagram, was killed on Sunday morning, her throat allegedly slit by Brandon Clark, a 21-year-old she knew, according to local police. Clark allegedly uploaded photos of her bloodied body online before attempting suicide—images that quickly spread across social media sites on Sunday and Monday, leaving companies like Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram scrambling to remove the content.

All of this is depressingly predictable, including the fact that the murderer is an adult four years older than the child he was dating and then murdered.

The murderer has been charged with second-degree murder, I'm assuming because this will be considered a crime of passion and not premeditated. Police have said that the pair were arguing before he murdered Devins, then tried to kill himself when they arrived because he was posting photos of her dead body on Discord.

I enjoy video games and have for the vast majority of my life but if it were in my power, I would destroy and outlaw all video games in existence and that might be created in the future just to punish men like this - both the ones who murder women and the ones who think this shit is somehow funny and post photos of dead bodies to upset people while the family is still stricken with grief and trying to figure out how to go on. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Gif of the Day

RIP, Willem.

Antifascist Man Killed By Police While Trying To Burn Deportation Buses


So this happened at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, less than an hour from where I live and a place I have personally protested for its shitty conditions and detainment of refugees. A local self-identified anarchist and antifascist posted a manifesto online before trying to light the buses that NWDC uses to deport its migrant prisoners on fire using "incendiary devices" (flares). The police were called and they, of course, shot him to death.

NWDC representatives have been freaking the fuck out, claiming this guy could have/would have hurt employees, claiming he attacked the main building which is absurd because it's concrete and he was trying to light shit on fire.

The man's name was Willem Van Spronsen. Based on some of what was in his manifesto, it sounds like he intended to either be arrested or, more likely, be killed by police. He was 69 and said shit like "to those burdened with the wreckage from my actions, I hope that you will make the best use of that burden" and "I regret that I will miss the rest of the revolution."

I've talked before about the phenomenon of "suicide by cop," a real thing that happens when your nation's police are so known for their murderousness that a great way to end your own life is to provoke them. I can't say for certain if that was Willem's intention, but I can say for certain that I myself have envisioned myself committing suicide in exactly this fashion - by attacking a migrant concentration camp and then the police when they show up. And I'm certain that I'm not the only one who has.

Willem's sacrifice and bravery made a deep statement about where we are as a nation. We've officially seen someone attack a concentration camp and be killed for it and it may well have been an act of suicide. I'm of course not going to encourage it but it would be mighty silly of me to think it's not going to happen again, and I understand. The horror of living in the U.S. right now when you're a moral person is so intense.

A lot else is going on right now in the country, most of it Trump being just astonishingly racist and Islamophobic, but this happened Saturday morning and I didn't hear about it until last night. I wouldn't be surprised if this news is being squashed because of all the people who don't want this to happen. And hey, it doesn't have to be just one person at a time, and it doesn't have to be a suicide mission. With enough of us, we could do a lot more damage and most of us would survive.

That's what they're afraid of.

Meanwhile, over on Fox News and even less blatantly right-wing news outlets, they're reporting on Willem like they should have reported on all those white supremacists who post manifestos before going out and committing deadly mass shootings. They can't be bothered to report on any of those cases but a guy attacks some buses and hurts nobody and all the sudden "ANTIFA ANARCHIST POSTS MANIFESTO, MARTYRED BY COMRADES BEFORE ASSAULTING OBJECTS." The parallels between the Fox News report on this and the way actual news outlets report on white supremacist mass shooters are striking and bitterly hilarious.

Willem Van Spronsen was murdered by police who could have de-escalated (they're supposed to be getting training on this but big surprise it didn't do shit) but surely wanted him dead because of what he was attacking (white supremacy and fascism) and because he once body-slammed a cop who was trying to arrest another antifa activist (double hero). He died trying to do something real to end the horror of concentration camps. He died trying to prevent deportations that tear families apart and get people killed. He died for human rights and human dignity, rather than dying for the sake of white supremacy.

If he were a character in a movie or a book, everyone would consider him a hero. But somehow people can't draw a line from the fiction they consume to the real world that all that fiction is based on. Probably because they don't want to feel bad about the fact that they'll never be heroes like Willem because they're too scared and too comfortable in their capitalist luxury.

But as fewer and fewer of us get any capitalist luxury and instead have to live paycheck to paycheck to live in shit, this is going to keep happening. Willem isn't the first in human history and he certainly will not be the last.

2020 Challenger Lineup: Michael Bennet

Is anyone else distracted by how small Bennet's mouth is? I know there's a joke about white people being lipless but come on man.

With that out of the way, Bennet was at least able to get into the debates, though due to the fact that I hadn't profiled yet, even I could not remember his name. Like every time I learned it, his name just seemed to fall out of my head. We'll see if it sticks now.

Bennet has some interesting origins. He was born in India because his dad was the aid to the U.S. ambassador in New Delhi. His mother is a Holocaust survivor, making Bennet culturally Jewish. But in general he was still a pretty standard privileged white boy who's now running for president.

He began his career on the U.S. Senate by appointment via the Colorado governor after the seat was vacated. He's held the seat through two elections since then, with support from Obama and Hickenlooper.

Bennet is an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act to explicitly guarantee protections for LGBTQ+ people. He does not support Medicare for All, but a watered-down "incremental" version that would probably never reach anything close to real universal healthcare. On immigration, he was one of the original supporters of the DREAM Act, and since then has signed a number of letters politely asking Trump to stop the country's plummet toward yet another concentration camp situation and maybe please don't stop sending financial aid to Central America, pretty please?

He's a supporter of tax credit to halt our other plummet toward the climate apocalypse and voted in support of the Keystone XL pipeline - one of only a handful of Democrats to do so. He also signed another letter asking Trump's EPA pick to say that maybe repealing the Clean Power Plan was bad actually. He does have a decently aggressive plan to combat climate change but at this point I'm not concerned it's enough.

But he supports the legalization of weed so yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh just kidding fuck this guy.

His campaign website also has a plan for reducing government corruption but he basically seems like Joe Biden without the name recognition and probably less creepy toward women, maybe, I don't really know, so I don't believe him. This is not the white Jewish man worth voting for.

D-. There's some actual progressive positions pulling him out of the F range but I get the distinct feeling he's a neoliberal in most respects.