Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gif of the Day

It squish.

I don't know what it is but it squish and I like it.

This is Why So Many People Don't Bother Voting

Before you jump into the comments to yell at me for not voting, I did vote. I voted blue across the board and I voted on every race and every proposition and every initiative.

I also got swept up in the pressure to yell at people to vote before this year's midterms, but I did not feel good about it. And this is exactly why:

Progressive Dems back off "Abolish ICE" at first meeting since midterms

Not just Dems in general. "Progressive" Dems, they say.

"We are absolutely still going to be pressing that," said Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, the caucus co-chair. "However, I think our main goal of getting out of the gate is going to be the issues that we ran on across all districts — around healthcare, around good-paying jobs, around dealing with the culture of corruption." 
Pocan, who in July released a statement saying ICE must be abolished, added, "I still think many of us still have issues of immigration reform as a very, very high priority." 

This in itself doesn't sound bad, and I've already fielded excuses made for these "progressives" that they're just focusing on what they can do for now, since abolishing ICE will likely not be possible when they only have control of the House. I'm not saying that's not true. But here's the thing.

I'm on the old side for a Millennial. I remember the George W. Bush years. I remember how so-called progressive Democrats were horrified at the unprecedented powers that Bush gave himself following 9/11 via the Patriot Act and other legislation. I remember how hard they fought against it. They brought it up as much as conservatives brought up 9/11 itself.

Then Obama was elected president and people partied in the streets.

Then he kept those same powers for himself. Not only that, he and his Democratic congress renewed these powers so that he could go on to drone bomb thousands upon thousands of civilians in the Middle East. Suddenly, the Democrats didn't have much to say about the Patriot Act anymore. Now, those powers are just an accepted part of the presidency that Trump now gets to use to his pleasure.

This is what I have come to expect from the Democrats. They used "abolish ICE" as a rallying cry to get more votes, i.e. more power. Now that they have gained some power back, they're backing off. They don't want to abolish ICE and they never did. Why would they rid themselves of another arm of power and control?

Even Pramila Jayapal, a representative in my state who I had come to admire as possibly a real progressive, is backing off hardcore from the idea of abolishing ICE.

Pocan and two fellow Progressive Caucus leaders introduced legislation over the summer aimed at scrapping the agency. One of the lawmakers who introduced the legislation, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, took issue with the attention paid to the "Abolish Ice" slogan and wondered whether any of the assembled reporters had read her bill, which she said focuses on reforming the immigration system.  
"I would really love it if all of you would read the bill and if you would report on what was in the bill and how we propose building immigration that is humane, where enforcement is transparent, saves taxpayers dollars, and is effective," Jayapal said. 
In July, Jayapal's office issued a press release about the bill with the headline, "Members of Congress Introduce Legislation to Terminate ICE and Transfer Critical Functions to Other Agencies."  
Later Monday, Jayapal told reporters she had "never used" the "Abolish ICE" slogan. She said progressives "need to stop taking the president's frame for this issue."   
"ICE is the agency that is not accountable, humane and transparent and effective. So I think that this agency as it exists is not doing a good job for us. That doesn't mean we are getting rid of enforcement overall, and I just think there's a real distinction between abolishing an agency and abolishing the function. And it would be great for people to just think about that," Jayapal told CBS News.

And so we go from real change to promises of "reform." What I hear in this is that maybe the name of ICE might change, maybe there will be an agency "shakeup," but the essential function of the agency will remain. Latinx people will still be profiled, harassed, brutalized, arrested, torn from their families, and sometimes murdered by U.S. officials who are largely white.

I mean.

After the legislation was introduced over the summer, House Republicans tried to force a vote on the bill in an apparent effort to put Democrats on the record on abolishing ICE. The progressives responded by saying they would vote down their own bill and called the move a "political stunt," according to The Hill. The bill has not been considered on the floor.

This is why people feel like they're being forced to choose between a party of blatant, outward evil and one that only pays lip service to good but is happy to dance with the Devil in private.

Yes, there are many ways in which Democrats are far better than Republicans. But the Democrats, even those who acted like they might be real progressives, continue to let us down. This is why I don't feel good about yelling at people to vote for Democrats. I really don't want to look into the eyes of the black, Latinx, Native, and Middle Eastern people that Democrats string along time and time again only to toss them aside like a soiled sponge when they're not needed anymore. How many times are Democrats going to betray those of us who are the most oppressed, and how many times can I tell them to vote for Democrats anyway?

And before you tell me or said oppressed people that they should vote AND work to build dual power or do the incredible amount of work it would take to muscle a third party into our two-party system, you're gonna need to tell me what work you've done toward that goal. Then maybe tell the Democrats to stop fighting those efforts.

I'm not going to stop voting and I'm going to keep voting for Democrats. But if Democrats really want to keep our support, they need to stop betraying us. I think that's only fair. Seriously. Could there be a fairer statement than that? Just stop dangling liberation in front of our faces and then yanking it away. It's downright cruel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gif of the Day

What I've read is that you should absolutely not keep these little guys as pets, no matter how fucking cute those eyes are.

Headline of the Month

You ever see one of those headlines that makes you check the source to see if it's satire and then when you see that it's not, you start screaming and then never stop?

Surging Wealth Inequality Is A Happy Sign That Life Is Becoming Much More Convenient

I know it's painful, but it's actually important for us to read this shit, because this is what the rich really believe is reasonable discourse. I wouldn't be surprised if this argument spread. This is how the rich think, and what they think will convince the poor to accept our lower status.

The shame of socialism is that the wildly talented are restrained from profitably improving the lives of the people around them, and perhaps continents away. Thinking about life two hundred years ago, distance was a severely limiting factor for the talented when it came to making things better for everyone. No doubt there were people with skills similar to those of the richest Americans today, and some became very well-to-do by early 19th century standards. But they didn’t become staggeringly rich simply because a lack of technology limited the ability of the ‘1 percenters’ of the early 19th to touch the U.S. (and the world) with their genius. Limited technology has socialistic qualities in the outcome sense for it restraining the brilliant from improving the lives of others while getting rich for doing just that.

For some unexplained reason, everyone having access to the things they need to survive and thrive would have prevented anyone from inventing things like trains and cars, says John Tamny, Director of the Center for Economic Freedom at FreedomWorks. But under capitalism, the technology that should have freed all of us from drudgery instead allowed a privileged few to hoard 90% of the resources, and that's a good thing!

Before technology shrank the U.S. and the world in a figurative sense, entrepreneurial genius was logically a narrow, town and/or neighborhood concept. After its proliferation, the surging inequality that resulted was the very predictable, and very happy result. The “robber barons” got rich by virtue of erasing cruel living standards simply because the talented could more and more serve the masses. Readers should never forget that the richest entrepreneurs almost always get that way by improving the living conditions of the greatest number of people. Surging wealth inequality is rather egalitarian and immensely compassionate despite what you’re told.

So... wealth inequality is good... because a few rich men were able to take advantage of technology... and get way richer.

The people living in poor areas of the U.S., whether it's neglected and highly policed parts of big cities populated mostly by black and Latinx people, poor rural areas, Native American reservations, or what have you, would be very confused by the idea that the rich "erased cruel living standards." I would honestly like to kidnap John Tamny and force him to sit on a public school toilet in a low-income school in Baltimore for 24 hours. This guy legitimately thinks that because microwaves exist, nobody lives under cruel conditions. But they do. And those conditions exist largely because of that wealthy inequality John is trying to convince us is good.

John goes on to talk about how wealth inequality is great because soon self-driving cars will be able to deliver pizzas to us 24/7! No mention of how those robot cars will be putting poor people out of work which will increase wealth inequality, but I guess if wealth inequality is good, so is mass unemployment and poverty, right? Who cares if the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world! Rich people can get Pizza Hut whenever they want! And they won't have to tip those dirty, greedy delivery drivers anymore, right?

You know, I think I was wrong about something. The poor will never be convinced by this "argument" in favor of rich people hoarding all the resources therefore causing poverty. This article is for rich people, to help them convince themselves that their hoarding and creation of mass poverty and misery is a good thing.

Crucial about all this is that the commercial seers who get the future right will grow stunningly rich for being right. The more convenient life is, the more wealth unequal are the living. But as opposed to a sign of hardship, the happier truth is that life is truly cruel when the talented aren’t getting rich. That’s when we know that no one is devising ways to make our lives easier, cheaper, healthier, more productive, and everything else good. Life without rising inequality is very much like life would be with socialism.

It's easier to read this article if you read the entire thing in Samantha Bee's sarcastic fake happy voice.

Thank GOD for poverty. Without poverty, how would the rich be able to have every luxury and convenience that could be imagined????? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gif of the Day

I'm pretty sure that's not how you hockey.

How To Find Success

I had this email from Patreon pop into my inbox this morning and I just had to share.

I will present it in two images, which are really all you need to discover the secret to success:

Are you excited to learn the secret? I bet you are! And you can by scrolling two inches down the page:

See? You don't even need to read the article. Just become a white guy. The end, bye.

Guest Post: 5 Ways You Can Help Less Privileged Women Right Now

Kate Harveston is a political writer from Pennsylvania. Her favorite topics are feminist-focused, but she writes on a wide variety of social and cultural issues. If you enjoy her work, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

Most of us have heard the statistic that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns only $0.80. And while this statistic is valid, it actually only applies to a few women: white women in the United States.
The fact is, in our country and around the world, women continue to battle for equality. And while society has made strides toward promoting female equality at home and globally, many hurdles remain.
Civilizations in some areas of the world still routinely subject women to discrimination based on religious ideology. Even in the United States, women's rights to access birth control and abortion remain very much under attack. While much remains to do, we can all do our small part to promote and lift up women both at home and around the globe.
1. Use Your Voice and Your Privilege
All of us can speak up and speak out for women's equality. But the more privilege you have, the more leverage you have to speak out not just for yourself, but for all women.
Many critics of modern feminism state suburban white women have primarily spearheaded the effort. As a result, the needs of women of color often get neglected. While it is true, for example, that a white woman may earn $0.80 for every dollar a man earns in the U.S., for African-American women, that number drops to $0.63. Latina women earn only $0.54 for every dollar a man makes.
And income inequality isn't the only issue facing women of color. Many of these women have more difficulty accessing essential services, such as birth control and abortion, than do suburban white women. If we truly want to work for equality, we need to include all of our sisterhood into the equation. So if you have the privilege, speak up and speak out — but make sure you do so for all women.
2. Educate Others
Few things make more of an impact on women than education. Sadly, today, in many areas, comprehensive sexual education doesn't exist. Also, women's history often goes ignored in standard courses, and few civics classes include a discussion of women's rights.
Therefore, make it your mission to educate as many young women as possible. If you have medical training, share your knowledge about their birth control options. If you have legal training, teach young women about their rights and about the history of those rights.
Even if you don't have any formal secondary education, election season is a perfect time to teach young women the importance of their vote and the history of what women had to go through to secure that fundamental right.
3. Send a Care Package of Menstrual Hygiene Products
One of the most significant issues facing women in developing countries is the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. Sadly, this problem also exists among the U.S. homeless population.
To help women close to home, make up baggies for the homeless, including some money, basic food items, socks and, importantly, menstrual hygiene products. To help women globally, contribute to organizations that provide menstrual hygiene and education programs regarding their use to refugee women.
4. Support Female-Centered Organizations
There are a host of nonprofit organizations whose missions are to help women at home and abroad. Many organizations work to combat human rights abuses of women such as clitoral mutilation, a practice that sadly remains common even in some nations where it is legally banned.
Looking to help women closer to home? Have some outgrown but quality clothing in your closet? Consider supporting organizations such as Dress for Success, an organization dedicated to providing proper job interview clothing for low-income job seekers.
5. Help out a New Mom
One simple way to lift up at least one special woman in your life is to help out a new mom. Having a baby is one of life's most joyous, yet also most stressful, events. And in the U.S., many women find themselves rushing to return to work soon after giving birth, despite the heavy demands of a new infant. And these formative years are critical for helping the new baby develop healthy socialization skills, as well as emotional balance.
So if you have a friend who is a new mom, ask what you can do to help. She may not request babysitting or doing diaper duty — it might be something as straightforward as making a grocery run the new mom has no time to do. A helping hand can make a world of difference to a new mom and her baby.
Throughout the ages, women have faced religious and political barriers to equality. But by working together, we can lift women up and work toward a world that values and respects everyone equally. Do your part to use whatever privilege you may have to help the other women in your life and beyond.

I Hate Working

What a terrible thing to say! What an awful thing to admit about myself! What does that say about me? I must be selfish, lazy, a freeloader, a leech. I must expect everyone else to work and take care of me. I must be a drain on my loved ones and society. I must be a pathetic loser who doesn't deserve to live comfortably. Maybe I don't deserve to live.

Is that what that means?

One thing about the U.S. that makes it different (note: different does not mean good) from other countries is a specific history we have around the idea of "work ethic." It's a very Protestant attitude that got all mixed up in the worship of independence created by the whole """new frontier""" thing that was of course bullshit because guess what there were already people here. You could write an entire book on the unique culture of the U.S. and of course plenty of people already have.

My point here is that the U.S. "work ethic" ethos has resulted in a culture in which not wanting to work or disliking work in general is considered a massive and unforgivable character flaw. So unforgivable, in fact, that those who don't want to work are better off dead.

This is also a feature of capitalism. It has to be, because in order for a privileged few to keep making more and more money, everybody below them must engage in labor. The idea of "work ethic" is therefore strong in every capitalist country, but I think it can be argued that it's even stronger in the U.S.

What does this do to people who legitimately don't enjoy working?

Let's try this. What would you do if you didn't have to work? If you had all the money in the world or we lived in fully automated luxury communism and money didn't even exist, what would you do?

The answer is usually that people would work. Not that they would stay at their jobs and change nothing. But most, possibly nearly all people respond with dreams of working fewer hours, changing the nature of their job, starting their own business so they can work for themselves, or maybe switching to another industry but still working. Some people would do only charity work, but that's still work. Some would just stay home with the kids, but that's still work. Some would quit their jobs and write a novel, but trust me, that is some work.

Planting a garden is work. Learning a new skill is work. Even blogging is technically work, you assholes.

Very few would say that they would lie around all day every day watching TV and playing video games. Some might say that they would just travel the world and party all the time, but eventually even the most radical of dudes will get tired of that. But even if they don't, is there something so terrible about someone who wants to go from place to place meeting new people and bringing joy and merriment everywhere they go?

If I didn't have to worry about money for another second of my life, I would still write. I would write in this blog just like I do now, maybe more, maybe not. Maybe I would do more cold pitching to other outlets, maybe not. Nothing in this world could ever stop me from writing about issues of injustice. And that is work.

I think I would also volunteer, and at least some of that volunteer time would be with kitties. Kitties! And I think I would try many things, like hiking, maybe gardening, maybe take cooking classes. There is a possibility that the first few weeks or even months I would play a fuck ton of video games. There are just so many I would like to go back and play again. But I know myself, and I know that if I don't get out and do something every now and again, I will get depressed.

So the truth is that I love working. What I hate is the constant crushing pressure of having to sell my labor to keep myself alive. I hate that I don't have a choice. I can sell my labor for too little pay or I can lose my shelter and live homeless on cold, damp, dangerous streets, begging and living from meal to meal in misery.

That's not what I call a choice, anyway.

I've tried many forms of employment and I always come to hate them. I hate retail. I hate customer service. I hate office jobs. And though there are things about freelancing that are much better than other forms of money making, I still hate that I have to constantly worry about money. Every pitch is laced with the fear and doubt that I'll never be able to make freelance writing into a goddamn career, that I'm not good enough, and that I'll have to get some miserable job at some miserable company in order to keep living.

It often feels like I can't find happiness in a world like this. I can't tell you the number of times I've felt like there is something fundamentally wrong with me because every job makes me miserable. Sometimes to the point of feeling suicidal. In a society that tells us anyone who doesn't work is a bad person, being unable to find any joy in our capitalist hell version of "work" to the point that staying at any job long enough makes you want to die can leave you feeling utterly broken.

And it feels like happiness and life satisfaction are out of reach.

So that's the truth. I hate working. I hate being forced to write for money. I hate being forced to do anything under threat of homelessness and early death. I hate being threatened with homelessness and early death in general. And yet, in spite of everything I just explained right up there, capitalists will still say that I'm a bad person for even admitting to hating this system, that I'm just a lazy moocher who wants to get out of contributing to society (as they fight against every effort to raise taxes).

What I really want is to create a society where no one has to worry about losing their access to basic needs like food, water, and shelter. Where people can just live. Where people can choose their work based on their passions, do as much or as little as they want, and be happy. I wouldn't just want it for me. We could all have this. We just have to decide to create it.

It doesn't feel like that should make me a bad person.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gif of the Day

What's better than one stubby-legged cat stretch-yawning?

Mail Time

Got my first bit of mail in a while after that post about Tucker Carlson. From "Anjelica." Subject: "Sad - Take responsibility for your choices."

Your latest post where you justify intentionally harrassing people just because you don't like their politics is not only sad but misguided. Other people aren't around to serve as the foils for the emotions you choose to serve and act upon.  
If Carlson says something you dislike, it's *your* chosen values which keep you awake at night, and what you choose to stay awake over or value is not his responsibility, no matter how much you disagree with him.  
It's *yours*. So the idea that Carlson 'makes' people feel fear, or makes someone stay up all night, or makes someone harrass him is merely an evasion of responsibility for the choice to feel those things.  
No, it's not OK to harass people because of what you've chosen to feel while blaming them for your feelings.

Dear Anjelica,

Tucker Carlson is literally a white supremacist. He gets in front of the camera five days a week, or maybe less, I don't know, I don't have cable, but the point is he gets in front of the camera regularly and works to incite violence against people in this country who don't have the privilege of a mansion and gates and money to hire private security and also enough money to get attention from the entire country and have the DC police investigate this as a fucking hate crime, which is the biggest joke I've seen since Trump was elected.

People are dying. White supremacist thugs are patrolling the streets and attacking anyone who stands up to them and/or random people of color or anyone who looks queer. Experts on fascism are saying we're already several steps down the path toward becoming a full blown fascist state.

The fact that you're worried about Tucker being harassed while millions of Jewish people, queer people, and people of color have to fear for their lives because of him shows who you care about and who you don't. As long as we keep doing nothing, more people will die, and things will continue to get worst for the oppressed people of this country. I don't give a flying fuck if Tucker Carlson never has a good night's sleep again. He doesn't deserve it. He gets up every morning and CHOOSES to spew bigotry and knowingly incite deadly violence.

And the idea that we choose to feel our feelings is bullshit. Emotions are a reflex. You can only choose what to do with them. I'm choosing to use my anger to speak out against fascists and encourage direct action that might actually be effective. That post caused you to feel something that you did not choose to feel. What you did choose to do was use your time and energy to chide me for refusing to do nothing and let this country slide into a fascist state where countless oppressed people will be rounded up and murdered. That made me feel angry again, and I choose to say a big "fuck you" in response.

Maybe instead of blaming the people who are made to feel afraid by Tucker's hateful rhetoric, focus on the people he makes feel angry at those same scared people who then go out and attack and murder them. And take like a Psych 101 course or something because you're talking nonsense to a psych nerd. Then choose not to email me again.


Lindsey "Fuck You Angelica" Weedston

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Gif of the Day

Kirby says "death to fascists uwu."

Don't Let Fascists Sleep

So Tucker Carlson is having a big hearty cry over a protest outside of his mansion last night. The response to it shows how much they don't want us to do this, which is why we absolutely 100% need to do it more.

I mean:

This is one of those things where you check to see if it's The Onion and you see it's the fucking Associated Press.


But seriously. I've been saying for a while that we need to be protesting outside of the homes of neo-nazis and fascists like Tucker Carlson. Give them no peace whatsoever. Live by this principle:

Creeping fascism keeps me up at night, I don't know about you. So don't let them sleep, either.