Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gif of the Day

This is so dangerous but also looks like so much fun honestly.

Helpful Advice For Men: Stop Talking


I know a lot of men are feeling really attacked right now and to be clear, I don't actually care. But maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't get yourselves into so much trouble if you just, you know, shhhhhhh.

In the space of 24 hours, I've learned that the interim president of Michigan State University said that the victims of the guy who sexually abused a ridiculous number of underage girls were enjoying the spotlight.

"You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … there are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight," Engler said. "In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition. And it’s ending. It’s almost done.”

One question. What awards have the victims received? I mean, maybe there should be an award dedicated to victims who come forward, because they are braver than any Marine. But this is textbook "privilege white dude running his mouth about something he has zero understanding of" because uhhhhh nobody enjoys that spotlight, fucko. Nobody likes to have their personal trauma put on display for the entire world to dissect.

Thankfully, this asshole has already resigned.

But that's not all! I got this gem in an email today:

Social Security official: Married working mothers hurt society, condoms rob women of “remarkable chemicals” in semen

Before joining President Donald Trump's administration, right-wing commentator Robert W. Patterson argued against contraceptives because “condom use robs” women of the “remarkable chemicals” in semen; said married women in the workplace have undermined society; and suggested that homosexuality is a mental disorder and sexual orientation can be forcibly changed.

Things must be super fucked up for this guy to have slipped through the cracks. And like, there has been some research suggesting that there are beneficial chemicals in semen, but could you be any more creepy right now? Plus like uh, there are so many other contraceptives besides condoms. I'm in a long term monogamous relationship with a cis man so we don't use condoms but I take my birth control pill every damn day.

But also, if semen is so good for you, why deny that to men? Let me come in and on each other and enjoy those remarkable jizz chemicals. Stop oppressing men, Robert.

I doubt this guy will resign but I do hope he gets sent some of that shampoo with semen in it, or at least some gummy dicks and glitter bombs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gif of the Day

Honestly, how can you not like cats?

Hey Koch Brothers Please Choke on the Physical Manifestation of Your Racism

Imagine if you had like one wish and could cause racist words to literally turn into sand or clay in a person's throat. That would be awesome. Anyway.

Anyway, I was trying to watch the Democracy Now headlines on YouTube this morning when I was greeted with an ad by the Koch Brothers. My partner actually had the PS4 controller and for whatever reason wanted to see what bullshit they were peddling today, and suffice it to say it enraged me enough to write a blog post on.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is this coming Monday, the 21st, and already my fellow white people are spreading the great man's words without context or to promote what they might think is peace but it really only submission by the oppressed. It's no surprise to see the Koch Brothers hop on board, seeing as they've exploited his image and legacy in the past and one of them even compared himself to MLK, which...

Now, I'm having trouble finding a video of the ad or any commentary on it, which makes me think it must be very new. Trust me when I say that it's gross as fuck.

The ad uses MLK's words in order to try and convince black people that they shouldn't protest. It declared that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was a complete success, total victory, and so now black people should just sit back and shut up! Everything's fine! Don't march, don't conduct sit-ins. MLK wouldn't want you to do all those thinGS THAT HE ABSOLUTELY DID HIMSELF AND ALSO ORGANIZED AND THAT IS HOW WE HAVE ANY CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS AT ALL RIGHT NOW.

It's infuriating and it's more than out of touch - obviously we still have massive levels of systemic racism in this country and it can be argued that very little of substance has actually changed since MLK's time. The Koch Brothers almost certainly know this. The ad is a straight up propaganda piece. Peddling clear lies to try and convince black people to accept their oppression.

The good news is that this must mean the Koch Bros are terrified. I personally am up for a nationwide protest specifically against the Koch Brothers in response to this.

Okay, I just found it. It's a video by Jason Riley, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, which is a think tank largely funded by the Koch Brothers. I knew it was a Koch thing because all their recent propaganda videos look and sound like this:

So not only does it urge black people to stop resisting, it blames all the current problems black people have on *checks notes* black people.

"The black Civil Rights battles in America are now over, and King's side won," says Riley. "The best indication of that may be that King has had no real successor."

I need to pause and take a breath here because the reason King had no successor is because the U.S. government fucking killed them all. They destroyed the Civil Rights movement, they destroyed the Black Panthers, they destroyed every bastion of black resistance in the country AND THEY FUCKING MURDERED MLK HIMSELF.

Riley then claims that if black people in the U.S. had any REAL problems like legal discrimination and voter disenfranchisement (he literally names these two issues), then a leader "of his calliber" would have appeared.

I don't even know where to begin. DeRay Mckesson, anybody? Patrisse Cullors? Obama? The fact that Black Lives Matter activists have mysteriously been murdered time and time again? The concerted efforts by the government to flood black communities with illicit drugs and everything else they've done to keep them in a state of poverty in desperation so that black leaders don't emerge?

This video is FIVE MINUTES LONG.

Riley goes on to call today's black community leaders "pretenders" and blame Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for the widening gap between white and black Americans in education, income, and home ownership. Surely it doesn't have anything to do with all the white racists who have been in charge of this country the whole time.

It gets worse. Riley then points squarely at what he calls "black culture" for all of black people's problems. This is the most rank victim blaming and I feel really sorry for Riley because he is a black man and has internalized all this rank racism and it's just so, so sad.

And so he says that protests and sit-ins won't fix anything anymore, because racial gaps aren't white people's fault, it's black people's fault.

That's like halfway through the video but you know what, I'm going to stop there. There are black writers who will deconstruct this video way better than I ever could. What I am going to do is place the blame for this propaganda video squarely at the feet of the Koch Brothers, who are clearly so so afraid of the BLM movement and other current young black leaders who threaten their wealth and power. Because they know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist and would have been a force against Koch Industries if he hadn't been assassinated by the FBI.

Dear Koch Brothers. Your time is coming, and no cheesy YouTube videos can change that. You'd do better to disappear and lock yourself in your doomsday bunkers now because life comes at you fast.

Child Migrant Prison Camp Shuts Down Thanks To Activist Efforts

Put this one down at something I did NOT see coming. That child prison camp you always see in that one photo that's in Tornillo, Texas has released its last kid and officially closed down. I didn't even know they were working on this but FUCK YES THANK GOD.

“Officials said about 5,500 of the 6,200 Central American teens who cycled through the Tornillo camp since June have been released to a parent or guardian inside the United States to await a decision in their immigration cases,” the Washington Post reported. “About 700 were transferred to other facilities overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” 
While Tornillo’s closure represents a victory for the humane treatment of vulnerable children, it absolutely cannot mean a free pass for those responsible, considering that BCFS, the organization contracted to run the prison camp, “filed more than 30 reports on ‘significant incidents’ at Tornillo since June, some involving interactions between children and staff, but none of a sexual nature.”

Fantastic. Though I am a little afraid that that place must have been seriously horrific for them to actually dismantle it. I hope all those kids are okay and weren't too traumatized. We still don't really know what that prison camp was like because they wouldn't let congressional Democrats inside, let alone press.

This place.

I'm unsure if this was the only prison camp, but there are still many migrant kids in detention, including in giant warehouses where they for some reason keep it super cold and give them those weird silver emergency blankets to sleep on the floor. They and all adult migrants need to be released. But it does make me feel better than maybe we don't have prison camps for Latinx children anymore. That's a step back from the cliff.

Keep it up, folks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Gif of the Day

This is literally an ant trying to steal a diamond. All solidarity with this funky little class warrior.

Not To Be Capitalist But I Love This Gillette Ad

I was all set to be cynical about this ad put out by Gillette because no matter how you slice it, it's a big company owned by one of the like five massive conglomerates that own everything we buy and I am not going to believe this is anything more than a marketing scheme to them but damnit if it didn't bring tears to my eyes.

Damnit, Gillette.

Some people who are apparently even more bitter than I am are like "uh yeah this is just telling men to exhibit basic human decency" and they're right but man, I've been a serious feminist for at least 10 years now, and 10 years ago even something like this felt out of reach. All I wanted was for people to demand basic accountability from men and lay the blame for men's violence against women at the feet of men. I would have killed for the idea of "isn't it time we stopped excusing bad behavior in men and boys" to become so mainstream as to be in a Gillette commercial.

It's sad that we were so far away from something that basic and common sense that my feeling right now is "we've come so far." But damn, we have.

You also can't understate the value of shitty men getting incredibly pissed off when told to act like adults, and there is plenty of that happening, from full-on tantrums to centrist dorks already putting out thinkpieces about how the Gillette ad doesn't "work." And it's not because it rings hollow from a massive corporate entity that's definitely exploiting women of color right now.

Nobody asked you, Josh.

But really, most of the fragile takes on this ad are tired and predictable. It's the old "THIS AD IS ATTACKING MASCULINITY" which is, of course, admitting that they think that men are inherently violent and useless when it comes to raising kids. Which they want to believe because it means they don't have to be held accountable for their actions like real adults. I've been hearing that shit for 10 years and I'm so over it.

Anyway, Procter & Gamble, could you stop being a giant monopoly maybe? Stop exploiting underpaid workers as you're almost certainly doing?

90% of Kids Seized By the Manitoba Government Are Indigenous

Manitoba is in Canada if you were wondering.

This statistic is brought to you by a devastating video making the rounds on the internet that shows a mother sobbing as social workers and cops take her newborn baby from her. Her family is there, arguing for her and asking if there will be time made for bonding between the mother and baby. If you know anything about child development you know how essential the newborn bonding period is.

Why are they taking this baby away?

The child was taken away because of a false accusation that the mother was drunk when she arrived at the hospital to give birth, the woman’s aunt said. 
The videos show family members telling social workers the accusation was not true. They ask whether the baby could stay with one of them instead of being taken away. The request is denied.

I don't know how you can accuse a person in labor of being drunk. How could you even tell, honestly? They're in pain, and they're utterly awash in hormones as the body prepares for the most painful experience they will likely ever endure. If they thought she was drunk when she arrived, truly, then did they not perform a blood test or something? And if not, then they have no proof, so how can they possibly justify taking a baby away from their mother?

Racism is how. In Manitoba, 90% of cases like these are with Indigenous mothers and babies. Canada has a long and horrific history of anti-indigenous racism, which includes genocidal policies of separating children from their families and sterilizing Indigenous women via coercion or simply without their consent.

Hopefully this video will get people to start noticing and caring about this issue. I know, however, that many will brush this off because the mother in the video has struggled with addiction.

Cora Morgan, a family advocate for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said the mother may have been targeted for a “birth alert” – a note to social workers that an expectant mother is high risk – because she had another daughter who was temporarily in care several years ago. 
The woman had previously sought help for addictions and with parenting from Child and Family Services, Ms. Morgan said, but was not intoxicated when she arrived at the hospital to give birth.

Addiction and poverty are closely linked, as are poverty and being an Indigenous person in Canada. That generational poverty fueled by systemic racism combines with general racism to result in scenes like this, where an Indigenous mother is more likely to be labeled "high risk," hospital workers are more likely to call social workers on her, and social workers are more likely to take her child away because of her race.

There needs to be some kind of concerted effort to stop this cycle. As things are now, this would mean government intervention. Unfortunately, Trudeau is not the progressive angel that he passed himself off as during the election. His record with Indigenous Canadians is shit. We're going to have to put a lot of pressure on him and the Canadian government in general to get this shit to stop.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Gif of the Day

Why can't I eat bred?

The U.S. For-Profit Healthcare System is Collapsing

I'm pretty sure. I googled 'American healthcare system collapsing" and there are several articles from last year expressing the same thing so I don't think I'm out of line here. The reason I'm talking about this now is because this shit is trending on Twitter right now:

One second.


All joking aside, this is a serious problem that is already killing people are is poised to kill a whole lot more. Our healthcare system has been in serious trouble for many years now. Spiking drug prices, reduced quality of care, rushing people out of the hospital and doctors' offices, continuing lack of affordable health insurance resulting in a fucked up situation where a single aspirin given to you at a hospital costs you $30 because hospitals have to make up for massive losses created by resources spent on people who can't pay, it's all combining into a complete clusterfuck that is unsustainable. A lot of those "the U.S. healthcare system is collapsing" articles came out around the same time as this news:

The US was once a leader for healthcare and education — now it ranks 27th in the world

So there goes the last coherent argument that capitalists can use to defend our healthcare system. It's now ranked worse than pretty much every other Western nation, and all of those countries have a universal healthcare system. Including Canada.

The ACA could have prevented this collapse if it hadn't been hobbled from the beginning by Republicans and their corporate masters and then sabotaged as much as possible since then. Instead it may have only been a stall. Of course, said Republicans will probably blame all of this on the ACA, ignoring the fact that nearly every other nation on Earth uses a universal healthcare system.

But the point is that we are facing a serious crisis in healthcare. This combined with the spiking cost of secondary education is resulting in a fucking doctor shortage.

U.S. health care's biggest problem: a doctor shortage

As the Salon article points out, most new doctors right now are either going into specialties, which are more lucrative than staying in primary care, or looking to serve affluent, largely white communities. This is definitely partially greed but also, new doctors face a serious problem when they have $200,000+ in student loan debt and primary care doctors don't get paid as much as they used to, plus they have to pay for things like malpractice insurance.

Unless they come from a wealthy family, doctors may not be able to afford to stay in general medicine. Yet primary care doctors are the ones we all see. They're the people who need to figure out what's wrong with us and then refer us to specialists. You can't just jump to seeing a specialist because our shitty insurance won't cover that. We're already seeing the result of this doctor shortage as wait times just to see a primary care physician increase. It's becoming more difficult to get to a doctor when you need it, like when you have the flu and maybe need a doctor's note to miss work and not get fired.

And despite the rapid enshittening of our healthcare system, the U.S. is still a big asshole about doctors from other countries trying to practice here. These doctors are often required to go back to school here for some amount of time, which of course costs them money. Put all of this together and it's like we want a doctor shortage.

I'd love to see increased interest in a single payer healthcare system here as a sign of a shift to the left, but at this point it's simply necessary to avoid a horrific crisis. We need socialized medicine yesterday. This is not a radical leftist position. This is just basic reality. Please make more articles about this. Hell, steal and re-publish this post under your name if it helps. I'll be annoyed but it's better than thousands or millions of people dying unnecessarily because we slept on this shit.

Justice for Chrystul Kizer


I knew there was a specific case like Cyntoia Brown's somewhere that was going around, and I found it over the weekend.

If You Care About Cyntoia Brown, You Should Know Chrystul Kizer's Name

The incident in which Kizer allegedly shot and shot a white man happened just last year, which means we have a chance to get this girl out of prison before she ends up spending half or all of her life there. Let's go.

Kizer did indeed shoot and kill a guy, but he 100% deserved it.

In October, Kizer's public defenders introduced a motion that would require the state to turn over evidence that, at the time of his killing, Volar was under active investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls. 
“The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense. Mr. Volar, a 34-year-old man, was engaged in the ongoing sexual and physical abuse of Ms. Kizer, then a 17-year-old girl, and several other girls whose identities are currently unknown to the defense," reads the statement presented to Judge David Wilk.

The article doesn't explain exactly why she was there, only that this Volar pedophile dude "transported her from Milwaukee to engage in sexual contact with her," and that her boyfriend gave her the gun because Volar kept touching her. Volar was also under investigation for producing child pornography, so that may be why she was in his home. She may have been a victim of trafficking.

Kizer's court case is ongoing, but she's still in jail because her bail was set so high. This girl rid us of a child sexual abuser and pornographer, so in my book she's a hero and should get to keep the stuff she stole from him. But mostly, she's a victim of sexual abuse herself and locking her up does nothing to help her or society at large. It only ruins her life. She needs help, not for her entire life to be stolen from her.

Spread this around. Send it to the celebrities who spoke up for Cyntoia Brown. This happened in Wisconsin, so you can contact Governor Tony Evers (phone number and email address at the link) to speak out for Kizer and promise to grant her a pardon or clemency. Let's do it again, but much faster this time.