Monday, September 24, 2018

Gif of the Day

This is apparently how they make Gingerman cookie cutters. There's something weirdly disturbing about it.

Yeah, Sure, Sexual Assault Accusations Ruin Men's Lives


If you couldn't tell, that headline is sarcastic. And here's a really fucked up reason why:

Alaska man kidnapped woman, choked her unconscious, and masturbated on her—no jail time

The 34-year-old former FAA airport tower controller, who was charged and pleaded guilty to offering a woman a ride in his car, driving her to another location, strangling her until she was unconscious, and then masturbating on her, has been released on three years’ probation. Justin Schneider will not serve jail time, the judge saying his “time served,” living with his parents and wearing an ankle monitor, is enough. Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik told news outlets that expert opinion on the low recidivism rates of perpetrators like Schneider was one of the reasons he was accepting a deal that didn’t include anymore prison time. Grannik also said that the loss of Schneider’s federal job was in itself a “life sentence.”

Hi, yeah, uhhhhhhhhhhhh IT'S FUCKING NOT.

This guy is going to get another job and move on with his life. The woman is going to have to live with what happened to her until the day she dies. Possibly having PTSD, being afraid of every man, remembering the time she thought she was going to die right before she passed out from being strangled when she was kidnapped.

And this guy gets probation? Kidnapping, physical and sexual assault, and he gets probation.

This because the judge for some reason thinks a guy who went to all the trouble of picking up a woman, driving her out to somewhere weird, strangling her to unconsciousness, and masturbating on her body is unlikely to re-offend. Do you have any idea how long that takes? This wasn't an incident where a guy just lost control for a second. That all had to take at least a half an hour, all the while the guy was continuously making the choice to do this to her. But the risk that he'll assault another woman is "low" according to Judge Michael Corey.

Here in reality, we know the risk is very high. He'll ruin the lives of more women while he's employed somewhere else, free to assault people.

Fuck anyone who frets that sexual assault allegations ruin men's lives, because even when they're found guilty, they're fucking fine. Rape. Culture.

For the Billionth Time, This is Why Rape Victims Don't Report

I'm seriously at the point that if someone spouts some of the old rape apologia to me or around me in person, I'm just going to punch them in the face. Or in the back of the head, depending on where their face is.

Alternatively, I can look this up and keep reading it to them until they beg me to stop:

TW: Rape. Also, I’m mad, so my spelling sucks. 
Ya’ll. I was raped and reported it. Went to the hospital. Got a very traumatic rape kit. 50 hairs pulled from my head and vagina- at the root. Vagina and anus painted blue and photographed to show tears and fissures. SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) was kind, but volunteers for that job after her regular shift. By the time she examined me and collected blood, the drugs they put in my drink were no longer present. 
At that point, I was a thirty something Ivy League educated mother of three. I was raped after chairing a fundraiser for a children’s museum. I answered every question. I was photographed from every angle, bruises measured (some in the shape of fingerprints) and photographed. 
I hired attorneys. Defense attorneys to assist the DA in collecting evidence. A $20,000 retainer. 
I say all this to say that (other than being black) I had every advantage a woman can have in reporting. 
Guess what happened? Not a damn thing. I had to push and push to even get my rape kit tested. It took nearly a year, even with my well known attorneys pushing. The district attorney declined to prosecute. The video of them buying condoms wasn’t enough. The ever changing story they offered- there was no sex and then after they learned I had the rape kit done- admitted that there was sex but claimed it was consensual. Also, not enough. 
I had been raped before and not pursued criminal prosecution. This time I did. It was awful. Traumatic. Insanely stressful on all of my relationships and was a big part of the end of my marriage. I was on truvada and kaletra prophylacticlly to prevent hiv. I lost weight from the drugs- vomiting and diarrhea . I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t watch a movie or eat at a table with anyone behind me. 
So why don’t women not come forward? I’ll tell you why. Because we don’t actually prosecute rapes in this country. Whether someone sees their rapist went arrested is up to the DA. When we do prosecute rape, we tear the victim apart. And more than 95% of the time, we don’t put rapist behind bars. 
So, why don’t women come forward? Because they’ve done the math and they know the overwhelming likelihood is that it won’t matter. 
So, when a woman sees her rapist run for a prominent position or be elevated to the highest court and the land and finally decides that she will come you know what that is? It’s a gift to us. It is her sacrificial gift. 
My rapist still lives in our community. He opened an after school activity for teens. He has had charges brought against him since mine. But he’s still free and out there. It’s a matter of time until he does it again. 
This next time, will we believe her? How many women will he rape before we actually see justice?
It is way past time for people to stop sitting on the side lines and assessing who is right. I can almost guarantee statistically that she is. And, even if she’s not we are NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT CRIMINAL CHARGES. If he loses a job and this is not true it sucks for him. But it’s not the end of his life. It’s a damn job. 
If you have other reasons that you’re ignoring the overwhelmingly likelihood that he did this, it’s on you. Want to do something for rape victims here are some options: 
- volunteer at your rape crisis center.
- educate yourself. Don’t ask victims. Read some books. I’ll post options later.
- believe them. Listen without judging. 
And if you can’t do any of those, keep your opinions to yourself.

This is from a Facebook post by Corey Bennett Williams, another hero coming forward with her story in an effort to combat rape culture.

Until I stop hearing stories like these, I don't want to hear the question "why didn't she just report" come out of anyone's mouth. Otherwise, fists start flying. I am done.

So More Women Have Come Forward to Accuse Kavanaugh

It's terrible that these women were put through this and will now get to share in the fun death threats that Dr. Ford is getting. But my first reaction was:

At Kavanaugh, of course, not his victim. Just ahahahahahahahahahaha fuck you Brett.

And fuck you, Republicans. You tried it. You obstructed Obama's SCOTUS nominee for no fucking reason, now you tried to steal a seat, and women are coming forward to go UM NOPE because your pick is a fucking rapist.

Maybe this is god's way of saying that he hates you.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gif of the Day

Oh My God.

Well This is Some Racist Bullshit

Turns out white college admissions specialists don't like black students interested in their own liberation.

White College Admissions Counselors Don't Want 'Woke' Black Students: Study

A new study reveals that black high school students who are actively fighting racism might have a harder time getting into colleges with white admissions counselors because ... Wait? Did you even read the first part of that sentence?

Hold on while I follow Michael Harriot on Twitter. Okay, let's continue.

Basically, a researcher sent out emails to college admissions counselors, 80 percent of whom are white, under four different black student personas. The ones who expressed being politically active were less likely to receive a response.

The study found that counselors responded to the “racially salient” emails (the environmentalist and the nondescript black student) 65 percent of the time. The racial unifier and the activist only received responses 55 percent of the time. He also found that there was a strong gender bias on both sides.

White men continue to be the worst, but white women continue to be afraid of black men.

Thornhill’s study also found that there was only bias when the counselors thought the student was a black male, noting that black girls were significantly more likely than boys to receive responses, “irrespective of counselor gender and narrative type.” But that’s because white female counselors were much more willing to accept activist black female students than activist black male students (a difference of 22 percentage points).

I encourage all my fellow white people to click through and read the entire piece, because this writer is funny and spot on, and a black man, and this article is from the Root.

This shit is why we definitely still need affirmative action, including in my state, where we actually did away with affirmative action, because the white people running things here in Washington State think they're totally progressive and definitely not racist (they are, though).

We need black activists more than ever in this country. This institutional racism needs to fucking stop.

The Narrative Over Kavanaugh's Rape Attempt Changes

This is how rape culture works. Someone that some people like gets accused of sexual assault, and they take every angle to defend the guy, even if the contradict each other.

Don Jr. tweets a slut-shaming attack on Christine Blasey Ford's entire high school

Don Jr. retweeted a D’Souza tweet saying that “No one in the media is covering the culture of hookups and binge drinking the accuser was part of. Here’s what they’re trying to cover up.” The tweet links a post on a blog called “Cult of the First Amendment,” drawing on the yearbooks of Holton-Arms, the school Ford attended.

There is also no place that a rape apologist won't dig to try and discredit an accuser. Since they're failing to discredit Ford, I guess they're attacking her high school now?

So the story has changed from "Ford is lying" to "the administrators at the high school they went to allowed sex and drinking to happen outside of the school" which somehow absolves Kavanaugh of attempted rape, somehow?

Meanwhile, Ford has had to move her family due to an influx of death threats.

Republican politicians and pundits remain indistinguishable from alt-right online trolls conspiring on 8chan and other sewers.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gif of the Day

That thing he does with his tongue oh my god.

I just finished the second season of The Good Place.

Pain Relief is a Human Right

If you know me personally, you might already know that I have become professionally involved in a foundation (or soon to be foundation once we officially file with the IRS) called the Opioid Education Foundation. I've learned a lot in the past few weeks about the origins of what has come to be called an opioid epidemic. At the same time, my sister has become involved in an issue that affects her personally - the reactionary movement against opioids in general, and the resulting denial of essential pain management medications to people who need them to live. And I mean that. There are people who need opioids to live. Because living in horrific pain 24/7 isn't living, and people will and have committed suicide if that is their only other option.

What I have come to understand, from what I've read, hoping that the sources are accurate, is that prescription opioids came about in the early 90s and were marketed as a miracle drug. Incredible pain relief without risk. Safe and non-addictive, they said. "They" being the massive pharmaceutical companies that have made billions of dollars every year these drugs have been on the market. It was a lie. OxyContin is safer than heroin, sure. Safer because they came in controlled-dose pills free of mystery additives like those found in every batch of street heroin. But they are, by nature, addictive.

Every person who takes opioids will become physically dependent on the drug. This means that their brain chemistry changes when they take the drug regularly over a decent period of time. Basically, your brain stops producing its own opioids, which all of our brains do naturally every day, when we're taking daily doses of a synthetic opioid. The longer you take a synthetic opioid and the higher the dose, the more your brain is altered in response. If you stop, withdrawal symptoms appear because you are suddenly totally devoid of any opioids. That is why withdrawal symptoms for opioids include pain. You will just hurt, because the natural opioids produced by your brain are absent. Thankfully, the brain will go back to normal and start producing the right amount of opioids again over time. But it can take weeks.

Some people who take opioids will also become addicted to them. Addiction is different from physical dependence. Addiction is a chronic brain disease. There is a psychological component and a neurobiological component to this disease, and it can't be cured, only managed. Why some people become addicted and others don't has something to do with genetics and also something to do with environment. There have been experiments done that suggest that misery can fuel addiction - that happy, safe, and fulfilled beings will not develop addictions even to substances like heroin.

What I'm getting at is the "opioid epidemic" is a capitalist creation.

First, the desire for obscene profits that no one needs inspires some rich assholes to make a drug and lie about it being non-addictive, then pay doctors to prescribe it as much as possible. They market it aggressively as safe and awesome and then act surprised when people start using it to get high. They do this in a system that produces obscene amounts of suffering, and then act surprised when people become addicted to the feelings of peace and happiness these drugs offer.

What this creates is an addiction epidemic and an overdose epidemic, fueled largely by heroin and also fentanyl, which is an intensely potent opioid meant for the most intense cases of chronic pain, but added to batches of heroin to make a better high. But fentanyl's potent nature means that adding just a tiny bit more than you should can be fatal.

People start dying at alarming rates. Overdose deaths were a statistic every year, but starting around 2012, the line graphs spiked upward. This scares people, and the family members of the dead demand justice. Pharma companies get sued, but the lawsuits don't put a dent in their profits.

Then some people with good intentions start campaigns, and some politicians jump on board, probably mostly because they see an opportunity for political gain. Everybody forgets about chronic pain patients. Restrictions on opioids come out rapidly and doctors become afraid of losing their medical licenses. Today, we're seeing people getting cut off from medications they've used for years without overdosing or at all misusing them. We're seeing people who just got surgery or coming into the emergency room with horrible injuries given fucking Tylenol.

I have tension headaches that laugh at Tylenol. I don't have to take opioids, but before cannabis was legalized in the state of Washington, I was feeling pretty miserable sometimes.

Also, cannabis is not the solution to all of this. Severe chronic pain laughs in the face of cannabis.

My sister has severe endometriosis. She's gone to the doctor practically begging for something to dull her pain. Recently, she literally had a doctor look her in the eye and say "I am not going to let you become addicted to opioids."

Here's the fucked up thing. My sister is not prone to addiction. She quit cigarettes without too much trouble, and some studies say that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. She's also taken opioids before. Hell, most of us have. Before the opioid hysteria, I was prescribed Vicodin when I was barely an adult for things like post-wisdom teeth surgery pain. I didn't request it, nor did I need it. And maybe that was a problem. Maybe it should not have been given to me in that situation. I did, however, need it when I had a weird cyst on my ass in college that ended up needing to be lanced. That hurt like hell. The hydrocodone they gave me helped me get through the aftermath.

Did I try to use the rest to get high? You bet I did. It didn't really work.

Now chronic pain patients are saying, and just matter-of-factly, that they might have to kill themselves. Because you can't just live in severe pain all the time. I've felt some severe pain. For me, it stopped. If it never stopped? I'd be dead by now. I have no doubt about that.

Opioids are by no means the best or only solution to pain. But it's the best solution we have right now, and for many, it's the only reasonable solution they have. They know about dependence. They know the risk of addiction. And they're aware of the possibility of long-term damage to their bodies/brains from taking them daily for a longer period of time than anyone has been able to study the effects of opioids. They choose opioids anyway. What choice do they have, really?

If it weren't for the fact that opioids were pouring cash into the pockets of pharma CEOs, if it weren't for capitalism holding millions of people back and encouraging others to hold back progress for the sake of profits, I have no doubt that we'd have something much better and safer than opioids by now. But people under capitalism are motivated by profits, and not by making life better for their fellow humans. Those good people who would research and develop medicines only for the good of humanity are denied grants and bullied out of it by pharma companies. How do you make shit tons of money if somebody comes up with a better, safer painkiller? Better to lobby those fuckers out of existence.

Right now, we're in a shitty spot. People are still dying of overdoses while others suffer horribly without the medications they've relied on for years. Capitalism created a problem that can no longer be ignored, dismissed, or covered up. Now drug companies are scrambling to come up with the next magical elixir of false promises that will cause other problems, then blame those problems on the poor.

This won't stop until capitalism ends. Stop allowing evil people who only care about their own money and power to work a system that so easy to game when you have tons of money and power. Cut them off at the source. End capitalism.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Gif of the Day

Don't fuck with mom.

Morning Announcements

I'm off to the Don't Punish Pain rally in Olympia today. It's a rally to protest the state's overreaction to the country's opioid crisis which is denying people in chronic pain the medication they need to function. These individuals have been saying that they would kill themselves without their pain management because being in intense pain all the time is too much to live through. I keep hearing stories about people being told to take Tylenol or aspirin after surgery or sustaining severe injuries.

It's so American to ignore a problem until it starts affecting people who aren't poor or homeless or brown and then, when the problem has grown into something massive and horrific, to freak out so bad about it that we do more harm than good in trying to solve it.

I know many people who deal with chronic or frequent pain. I don't want any of them to kill themselves.

Anyway, I might post video and/or photos later. Have a good day, maybe read up on the issue.