Friday, July 13, 2018

Gif of the Day

I wish I could do that.

Straw Bans Hurt Disabled People

In yet another thing I'd never thought about because I'm able-bodied, straw bans make life even more difficult for many disabled people. Unfortunately, because people don't ever listen to disabled individuals, this has only reached even leftist Tumblr after the ban passed in Seattle. Now it's being considered in other areas.

'Disabled People Are Not Part of the Conversation.' Advocates Speak Out Against Plastic Straw Bans

Popular alternatives for plastic straws include options made from biodegradable paper and metal, the latter of which are typically reusable once cleaned. But Jamie Szymkowiak, founder of the Scotland-based “One in Five” disabled rights campaign, says those options may not suit people with certain disabilities. 
For instance, Szymkowiak — who says he has arthrogryposis, a condition that affects the movement of his joints — says some disabled people can take a longer time to drink, leading paper straws to get soggy or even disintegrate, potentially increasing the risk of choking. He added that metal straws are usually inflexible, making them more difficult to use for people who have a mobility-related impairment.

This is a perfect opportunity for us able-bodied people to reflect on our privilege. It's also a perfect time to consider whether the best course of action to protect the planet is to ban minor things like plastic straws or whether we might want to just abolish capitalism to rid the world of the incentive to destroy the world with mass amounts of industrial waste because it creates short-term profits.

These liberal band-aids won't stop environmental disaster and always seem to hurt the disenfranchised. Let's do better.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gif of the Day

I identify so strongly with this gif.


I know we got really distracted by the whole "ripping babies from their mothers' arms and throwing them in cages with no plan to ever reunite them" thing. But remember how we have a horrible mass shooting problem in this country and gun humpers who harass teen kids who try to make it so no other kids will have to go through the horrific trauma they did.

Utah gun fanatics trail Parkland survivors speaking tour in armored vehicle with replica machine gun

Have these assholes in Utah every thought about maybe instead using their time to go fuck themselves? Just wondering.

The Utah Gun Exchange, which describes itself as a “patriot marketplace,” is taunting these teens and their supporters by following them around in armored vehicle that has a giant replica machine gun, a replica that is complete with a propane-powered mechanism to create realistic-sounding machine gun fire. They are attempting to attend the teen town halls. Can you imagine traumatizing mass shooting survivors in this way? Well, buckle up because after police stops in New York and Chicago, Bryan Melchior, co-owner of the Utah Gun Exchange, claims that he’s the real victim here.


Why isn't this considered to be criminal harassment? Does the word "harassment" even mean anything in this fucking country?

And also, just what kind of an awful person do you have to be to harass traumatized children?

Literally like,

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Gif of the Day

The way this cat strokes the child's face is so human it's kind of unnerving.

Also oh my god cats.

Your Daily Dose of ICE Horror

I'd say that this should catch the attention of the "pro-life" crowd but hahahaha we all know they don't actually give a fuck about life.

Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn't Get The Care They Needed

Two weeks after arriving in the US seeking asylum, E, 23, found herself in a detention cell in San Luis, Arizona, bleeding profusely and begging for help from staff at the facility. She was four months pregnant and felt like she was losing her baby. She had come to the US from El Salvador after finding out she was pregnant, in the hopes of raising her son in a safer home. 
“An official arrived and they said it was not a hospital and they weren’t doctors. They wouldn’t look after me,” she told BuzzFeed News, speaking by phone from another detention center, Otay Mesa in San Diego. “I realized I was losing my son. It was his life that I was bleeding out. I was staining everything. I spent about eight days just lying down. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I started crying and crying and crying.”

Is there any end to the horrors of this country's immigration policies? They're not doctors but they could have fucking found her one. She was bleeding for eight days, unable to eat. She could have died. Her baby did. Do those heartless fucks as ICE care at all? No.

About a week after speaking with BuzzFeed News, E gave up her fight for asylum, accepted voluntary departure, and was deported back to El Salvador.

This makes me sick with anger. We treat desperate people just looking for a better life for their children like criminals, put them in cages, refuse them medical care, and kill their unborn children. No word from the so-called "pro-life" administration on this.

Who cares about pregnant women or their babies if they're not white, is that it?

The new ICE directive states that women are not to be held into their third trimester and that ICE is responsible for “ensuring pregnant detainees receive appropriate medical care including effectuating transfers to facilities that are able to provide appropriate medical treatment.” 
But BuzzFeed News has found evidence that that directive is not being carried out. Instead, women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care, even when in dire need of it, are shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities, and have been physically and psychologically mistreated.

Pregnant women shackled around the fucking stomach.

The BuzzFeed article is long and full of many more horrors.

Fucking. Abolish. ICE.

There's Nothing Quite Like Fake Male Allies


This story takes the cake. If you're a feminist then it's likely you've seen the company "Feminist Apparel" pop up now and again. I honestly thought that they must be yet another capitalism scheme to squeeze money out of a popular movement and that their products were probably made in a sweatshop in some exploited country. That may still be true, but the company actually was run by feminists. Or at least, by people claiming to be.

Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He's An Admitted Sexual Abuser

I actually laughed at this headline because it's so fucked up but also OF COURSE THAT WOULD FUCKING HAPPEN JESUS FUCKING HELL.

It all came to a grinding halt in June of 2018 when Feminist Apparel staff discovered that the brand’s founder and CEO Alan Martofel had an admitted history of sexually abusing women. In fact, he claims it’s the reason why he started the company in the first place. After asking for his resignation, all nine employees were fired without notice or severance. (Only Martfel and an outside consultant remained.)

This is classic fake, exploitative male ally. This Alan Martofel did an especially good job, made a bunch of money, and ruined a bunch of women's lives. I hope his career and life go the way of that one dude, what's his name, who was a professor of Women's Studies or something. I hope I forget his name because he becomes an obscure nobody that everybody wants to forget.

I can see how people were fooled. At first, reading this article, I was mildly impressed by the story of a guy who realized he had sexually abused women and wanted to reform himself. But here's the thing. Using the self-reform story to start a company you make a profit from is just another way of exploiting women. He could have started a charity, he could have started the company and handed it off to a woman, he could have not fired all the women who worked for them after they confronted him about his past.

It's also pretty clear that he was not up front about his sexually abusive past to his employees upon hiring them, which is especially gross considering the fact that some of his (now former) employees were survivors.

Of course, it all went down the toilet when he fired them all. I don't know what he was thinking. He could have at least salvaged his reputation and maybe had some kind of role in the company. Now he's guaranteed to be flushed straight down the feminist toilet. His messages about the confrontation and resulting firing are disgusting.

Sadly, in the meeting that took place with my now-former employees last Friday, I was made aware that they, unequivocally, do not share my views on either business or feminism.

In other words, this was nothing but a "business" to you. It's also hilarious to accuse women who confronted you for being a former sexual abuser and whom you fired for doing so of being unfeminist. Apparently, feminism to Alan means not holding men accountable for their actions when they're making money off of feminist slogans and their name is Alan Martofel.

Bye bye, Alen. Don't drown on your way down to the sewers.

Amazon Strike This Week

It would have been better to write about this before the strike started but I've been preoccupied with massive amounts of police bullshit.

Amazon workers around the world are striking today for better pay, better treatment, and better conditions. For years now, there have been reports of appalling conditions in Amazon warehouses where people work 10 hours a day under grueling quotas that don't leave them enough time to go to the bathroom. Ambulances have taken to just waiting outside these warehouses because workers routinely collapse from exhaustion.

Undercover journalists have been reporting on this shit for a long time, but nothing has changed. Now Darth Bezos is facing a mass workers' strike.

You can support this strike by participating in a coinciding boycott. You've probably heard that Amazon is planning some kind of "deals day" with the most/best sales of the year. This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the strike and keep their profits up. Do not buy from Amazon on the 16th. Don't even visit the website. You can do even better by not visiting Amazon from now until the 18th, as strikes in European countries have already begun.

Addition actions you can take include canceling your Amazon Prime and putting the strike/Amazon's foul treatment of its workers as the reason. You can also boycott other companies owned by Amazon and Darth Bezos. This includes Whole Foods. And Twitch, nerds.

11 Companies You Might Not Realize Are Owned by Amazon

Jeff Bezos needs to be stopped. He thinks he can do anything he wants because of his money. We all need to buckle down and show him that we find his lack of faith disturbing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gif of the Day

Me @ my bosses.

I Went to the Police Station to File a Complaint and Left Angrier


I left with more to complain about. I left with my boyfriend completely shaken and in tears. I left all the more determined to see the police abolished.

I filed a complaint with the Bothell Police Department online early Saturday morning after all that shit went down and I was far too upset to sleep. The next day, to my surprise, I got a call from a Bothell officer to follow up. I got some more information from him as well as some excuses and after refusing to take them, he asked me if I wanted to file a complaint. I said yes, confused, because I thought I had already done so, and he said I could come down to the station to file one. I guess doing it online isn't official, maybe I don't know. But I wanted to make sure it was officially on file, so after gathering the nerve for a couple days, I finally went to the station today.

We (myself and my boyfriend because I was too scared to go alone) waited 10-15 minutes for an officer to show up after using an internal phone to explain that I wanted to file a complaint about police conduct. He took us into a little office where he sat at a desk and us in chairs in front of him. He asked me what happened and I explained the domestic violence incident we witnessed and a bit of why I wanted to file a complaint. I really didn't expect to have to say this directly to a cop. I wanted a form I could fill out in peace.

The officer took some time to read the police reports on the incident after saying that he could probably "answer my questions" (I hadn't asked any). He then asked us some questions like whether the couple lived together, and we said we assumed so but weren't totally sure. He then went into some thing about "imagine if you didn't live together but one of you came over all the time but your name isn't on the lease" and I was confused as to where he was going with that. I'm not sure if that was listed as a reason for the woman's arrest, but the male half of that couple didn't seem to be trying to get her to leave at any point, rather he was saying that he was trying to leave and she shouted at him to leave at least once, very likely at least twice.

My boyfriend chimed in to say that he understood but he didn't think it mattered whether she was officially on the lease or not. He and the officer talked a bit and it was soon clear that my boyfriend was not a fan of the police. The officer then made a bit of a speech about how he's a black man and understands stereotypes, and tried to convince us that stereotypes against cops are the same as racial stereotypes. I was not trying to get into an argument about this - I just came for some fucking forms - but I was of course thinking "YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A COP. YOU CAN TAKE OFF YOUR UNIFORM."

Mostly I nodded respectfully, trying to keep my white privilege in mind. I was also stressed out to the max, fidgeting and picking at my skin constantly. I just wanted to fill out a complaint form or take one home with me. I just wanted to leave.

Instead the officer proceeded to try and explain away everything the cops on scene that horrific night did. I was waiting for an opportunity to explain that I would not be at all surprised if the police were following procedure - my problem is with the procedure. But you know how men are. I was mostly quiet for the rest of the time as my boyfriend and the officer talked. My boyfriend was getting increasingly upset and visibly crying. Actually, the first thing my boyfriend said in that tiny little office/interrogation room was asking me if I had any tissues because he was already tearing up.

At some point, and I might be getting the order of things mixed up because it feels like my brain is actively trying to push the memories out of my head, he asked me what my biggest complaint was, and said it was very unusual for someone to file a complaint when they were not directly involved in the incident. I don't know why he needed to pinpoint the biggest complaint because all of my complaints were important, but I said the most upsetting thing was that they hadn't let the woman get dressed before arresting her and dragging her off in her negligee.

He read both the initial and secondary reports to try and find a reason why they didn't let her get dressed, but there was none given. He said that typically, someone would be allowed to go back inside their home and get properly dressed before being handcuffed, but sometimes they are not. Reasons include if they think there are weapons in the person's home or if the arrestee is combative. The officer asked me if the woman had been "lippy" with the officers on scene.

I want to pause here to say that being upset and loud and yes, even """lippy""" should not disqualify someone from basic dignity. We civilians have a right to clothing even if we're not 100% licking the cops' assholes at all times. Especially women as long as cops have a tendency to sexually assault women.

Oh, and before that, the officer explained to me that cops can indeed determine the primary aggressor in a domestic violence call in under 5 minutes, and in fact in as little as 30 seconds! Okay, Sergeant Collins, you may think that cops can do that. What I am here to say is that no, you fucking can't. Just because you think you got enough to tick off your cop boxes for "probable cause" doesn't mean it's right. This is the entire problem with police. Now this woman has an arrest record, now the state of Washington is charging her with a crime whether her boyfriend wants to press charges or not, now she's had to spend time in one of those awful, disgusting, abuse-ridden jails because the cops didn't want to spend more than five minutes to find out what happened.

Also, he explained that Bothell does have domestic violence advocates, but they're not going to come out at 2 am! By which he means the city/police department isn't going to pay to have enough of these advocates staffed around the clock or pay enough to get them to agree to be on call after business hours, which I'm guessing is when most domestic violence calls happen. He practically laughed at the idea. Ha ha ha.

Back to the big complaint, and my least favorite part of this trip to the friendly neighborhood Bothell Police Department. He then said that we, me and my boyfriend, were in the report, and that it said we were hostile or something like that. He said that """maybe""" the reason they had to haul this woman off without letting her get dressed is because we and the three other people out there were, essentially, making cops nervous. He then asked us to imagine a situation where a big crowd of people were yelling at the police while they were arresting someone naked at McMenamins. The police would want to get the person out of there quick in order to calm things down!

Here are the problems with that. 1) There were, at most, five bystanders watching the situation. Me and my boyfriend in our pajamas (me without shoes on), a man from another building in the complex off by the mailboxes, an old lady, and my apartment manager watching from his window. 2) None of us were yelling or doing anything but watching until they pulled the woman's hands behind her back and handcuffed her. At this point, they already were not going to let her get dressed, because how's she going to do that in handcuffs? It wasn't until then that the yelling started. 3) There were three officers there, all of them with guns, against a tiny gaggle of people in pajamas, one who didn't want to come outside (because cops) and one an old fucking lady.

Why do cops feel so threatened by the people they're supposedly supposed to protect and serve? But also, #2 invalidates the whole argument, which is essentially that it was our fault the woman didn't get clothes. So I'm guessing either the cops were lazy, didn't give a fuck, or the woman was too "lippy" to deserve dignity and protection from being ogled by gross cops. Who knows, maybe the male cops there just wanted a show! Maybe they got off on handcuffing an almost-nude woman. That may seem unreasonable, but it sounds more reasonable to me than "the three cops with guns were afraid of the five unarmed civilians in pajama bottoms."

So that was the biggest bit of bullshit. At this point it was very clear that the officer was trying to convince us not to file a complaint. He was trying to explain away what happened, hoping that we would go "oh, well, if that kind of horrible and heartless conduct is standard procedure, then it's fine!" God knows how long that would have gone on, but our time there came to an abrupt end when my boyfriend, getting more upset, said that he had seen videos of "de-escalation training" in which cops are told/have said that putting their hands on their guns is de-escalation. The officer directly denied this and claimed to have been a de-escalation trainer. He then, for some reason I will never be able to determine, said it was ridiculous to say that grabbing at your gun was de-escalation, and demonstrated that action. He grabbed his holstered gun handle right there in front of us.

My brain is at a complete stop at this point and I'm feeling pretty numb, but my boyfriend does not have this reaction to stress and is also very afraid of guns, moreso than I am. He freaks out a little. He says that he's done and he wants to leave, and gets up from his chair, again visibly crying. The officer gets up as well and says he'll get us the complaint forms and we can request copies of the police reports up front. My boyfriend does not want to turn his back on the officer and says so, but the officer refuses to go out first, saying he'll stand there all day until we leave first. My stress has spiked to the limit so I basically push my poor boyfriend out the door because I need the fuck out of there immediately.

The officer goes to get the forms, I request the police reports and am told to do so online, and I hope I fucking can because now that I'm out of there I realize I'm pretty sure I can't do that when it's a domestic violence case so fuck me. I then tell my boyfriend to wait in the car because he is so upset. It takes a few minutes for the officer to come back, leave again to write down the case number for us, and come back again.

As he's walking me out he starts going into the "officers were following procedure and did nothing wrong" speech again, and is onto "bystanders like your boyfriend are the reason they didn't let the woman get dressed" (he literally said my boyfriend there) when said boyfriend returned because he thought the officer had accosted me (and he had, let's be honest). I finally got the opportunity to say that I understood that the officers on scene were following procedure, and that my problem was with the procedure. This ends the interaction, and we leave.

There's a good chance that there's more that happened that I don't remember just now. I am, once again, very tired and feeling pretty awful. But this time, I'm much angrier. I did not use my personal time to go down to the police station to have a cop try and convince me not to file a complaint. Now I have something new to complain about, and this time I know the officer's name.

They make it as difficult as possible to even file a complaint against an officer. If someone wants to file a complaint about how I do my job, they could just do so on the fucking company Facebook account. I'm not allowed to sit them down in a little room and try to convince them not to file a complaint until I make their significant other cry.

All Sergeant Collins did was harden my resolve. I'm not letting this go. My complaints will be filed, and I will be writing the city council, and I'll be pitching an article about all this until someone accepts it. And I'm betting that someone will.

Introducing the "Unmasking Antifa Act"

Also could be another "Here's Fascism!"

By the way, I made a special new reaction image to go along with that particular post series:

Get it? Haaaaaahahaha it's terrible.

Anyway, back to the bill. Apparently, just over a month ago, some mess called the "Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018" was introduced by  Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11].

"To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide penalty enhancements for committing certain offenses while in disguise, and for other purposes."

If you didn't know, dedicated anti-fascists often cover their faces in protest to avoid harassment by fascists, both of the police and non-police variety, and the state in general. We've all seen how cops and often local governments side with fascists and arrest, brutalize, and do everything they can to prosecute and imprison the heroes who try to defend communities against fascists. Covering their faces protects them in this age of video. It's essential for dedicated antifa to exist.

Making this a crime is a transparent attempt to wipe out anti-fascist efforts and allow fascist thugs to overrun our communities and harass, bully, assault, and murder marginalized peoples and their allies into hiding and, ideally (from their perspective), non-existence.

"Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both."

Defend yourself against a fascist thug in a mask and you can get 15 years in prison. That's what this does. Hell, "oppresses, threatens, or intimidates" can be interpreted widely, god knows how far they'll take it. Can you even yell "fuck of, nazi" in a mask at a shithead with a tiki torch without being thrown in prison for 15 years?

This is still in committee and I hope it gets nowhere, but the fact that it exists at all is alarming. I'll be checking up on it periodically. Be prepared to fight it.

Monday, July 9, 2018