Friday, September 28, 2018

Gif of the Day


I dunno.

Dear Women: Stand Up and Burn It Down

[TRIGGER WARNING: EXTREME PESSIMISM, SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE CULTURE]

Today, the vote on Kavanaugh is going forward. I hate saying this, but I am 100% convinced that he will be confirmed. I have felt this way since the day he was nominated. I always felt that nothing could stop Republicans from confirming him. I still feel that way. Trump has 19 allegations against him and he admitted on tape to sexually assaulting women for sport, and the Republican party stood by him, and he's president now.

I'm waiting for the news with a knot in my stomach. I feel like crying, and also screaming. Just like every other decent woman in the country.

Once that happens, I'm sure women will want to march. If we do, can we march upon the White House? I'm tired of yelling in the streets while those in power ignore us and keep fucking us over. Can we drag all the men out of Congress and tell them that they can either resign right there and walk away or we can make them physically unable to serve? Tell me about the power of voting all you want, but things have only gotten worse. Now we're facing a Supreme Court that will drag us back into the Dark Ages, if we let them.

Why are we sitting around letting this happen? White House security can't stop all of us.

I'm just so desperately tired of seeing women cry. Listening to men shit all over survivors by saying things they know are not true or completely hypocritical, but they don't care, because all they care about is grabbing more and more power. If I have to see one more old, nasty white guy say "why is she bringing this up now" or fret about another nasty white guy's "reputation" or "career" while women, many of whom are survivors, have to sit quietly and calmly and listen to them. If this is government, give me anarchy. I can't stand it anymore.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Gif of the Day


Just a boy and his bowl.

Important Facts About Human Memory That Everyone Should Know

Alright, assholes. Let's do a little mental exercise here.

I want you to imagine that someone you really don't like is nominated for a position on the Supreme Court of the U.S. So you decide to make up a sexual assault allegation in order to stop it from happening.

Imagine you have a pretty good head on your shoulders. Maybe you're even, I don't know, a brain surgeon. Skipping over the fact that you'd probably invent a completed rape rather than an attempt, imagine your story gets attention and succeeds in getting a hearing before the Senate. You have time to prepare your statement and for any questions you predict coming up.

Do you:

A) Come up with all the obvious details about the night because you know you're going to be grilled for the deets, or
B) Wing it and just say you can't remember when they ask for details?

These are the kind of inconvenient things that asshole conservatives don't think about because it would be inconvenient to their narrative/their attempt to drag the country back to the 1950s.

Now let's do a more serious exercise. Think back to an event in your life, 10, 20, 30 years ago. Something important enough to remember pretty clearly. Now try to remember it REALLY clearly. Try to remember the small details. How did you get there? What time was it? Who was with you? What were you wearing?

Unless you have a photographic memory, it's pretty tough, yeah?

That's because human memory is, say it with me now, fallible.

Normally, human memories of any event start to fade the moment after they're made. According to neuroscientists Daniela Schiller, a memory changes every time you recall it. So even the things you do recall are not 100% correct.

This is under normal circumstances. When you introduce trauma into the mix, things get all kinds of fucked up. First of all, during a highly stressful situation, such as when a random dude pulls you into a room, sexually assaults you, and you think you might die, your brain goes into self-preservation mode. All of its resources go into the flight, fight, or freeze response, and your blood rushes to your limbs as adrenaline spikes.

There's not a lot of room for perfect memory processing in the mix there.

If you have any idea about how the brain works, like, say, if you were a brain surgeon, then you would know that trauma will often sear certain memories into the brain while background details are often completely absent. Some may remember very little or nothing at all of the incident, but the most common result is vivid memories of the assault at the expense of everything else.

So the fact that Dr. Ford doesn't remember unimportant details about the night of her assault but vividly remembers the assault itself tells me, an informed individual, that she is not lying and the assault did happen. A savvy liar would know that Republicans would expect perfect recall and ask a bunch of inane little "gotcha" questions and be prepared with a perfectly fleshed-out story. If Dr. Ford had come with that, then I would be suspicious. But her fallible recall fits the profile of a trauma victim perfectly.

Of course, even if Senate Republicans and other conservatives did/do know this about memory, they'd still put on this fucking circus show to try and discredit her to the uninformed public. They'll pretend they don't know that she's clearly not lying all the way to the grave if it gets them more power. That's why I do my exercises daily.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Gif of the Day


Look it's me oppressing all the white men!

You're From the Twilight Zone, Kavanaugh

Haha just kidding, Brett is 100% your standard rich, powerful white man who knows he has nothing to lose from dragging his accuser's names through the mud. But that doesn't make me hate him any less.

Huge trigger warning for these new Kavanaugh developments, though you probably will not be able to shield yourself from this news unless you do a full media shut down. I'm sorry you have to live like this, survivors.

New Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick details parties where girls allegedly were drugged and raped

Behold my shocked face:


Yeah.

But according to Brett, who has an incredibly appropriate first name by the way, this kind of allegation is "ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone."

Ah. Playing on the classic rape culture denial. These things don't happen, right? Oh, except that they happen so routinely that every teenage girl has to get a special talk from their parents about not ever drinking from a drink at a party unless you poured it yourself and have kept the drink in your sight at all times. If it was out of your sight for even a second? Dump it and get a new one. There have been multiple discreet devices invented for detecting date rape drugs in drinks. Oh, and the fact that "date rape drug" is a real drug category. The fact that "date rape" exists as a term on this planet.

Shall I go on, Brett? Or is this blowing your mind to little tiny pieces?

Even if what Swetnick described might sound extreme to your everyday person who doesn't read up on rape culture enough to occasionally send themself into an existential depression ending in bed in the fetal position, I have no doubt that it happens. Really, these kinds of stories are everywhere. In real life and depicted in fiction that is very much based on reality. This kind of shit is wayyyyy too mundane for the Twilight Zone.

Brett, do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and just go away. Retreat back into the mansion I'm sure you own and die in obscurity. It's far better than you deserve.

Border Patrol Agents Are Murdering Migrant Women

Alright, so, over here in this corner of the horror show that is the United States of America, horrible things are still happening to Latinx migrants. Apparently, border patrol agents have been out there serially murdering migrant women.


"Executing" is an interesting choice of language. An execution is typically a "legal" killing via the death penalty. I'm not in favor of the death penalty, but this woman did not even have a trial.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) supervisor was arrested Saturday after he confessed to driving four women to desolate highway areas in and around Laredo, Texas where he was stationed and executing them with a handgun, according to Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz.

He targeted sex workers and trans women, of course.

How did this happen, you ask? All thanks to the xenophobia fueled by exploiting 9/11.

Ortiz, 35, was hired after CBP relaxed its hiring standards following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which officials say allowed bad actors to join its ranks, according to the report. He is the second CBP agent from the Laredo sector to be accused of mass murders this year. Another supervisor from the sector, Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles, was arrested in April on two capital murder charges after he was accused of killing his 27-year-old romantic partner and their one-year-old child, according to the Laredo Morning News.

Well done.

Also, a second border patrol jackboot from the same department being a misogynistic murderer this year? It's almost like a job that gives you a gun and tells you to target a certain kind of people with impunity inevitably attracts abusers who prey on those our society has marginalized. Whoops.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Gif of the Day


Same.

Cops Get Special Rights and That is So Dangerous

[TRIGGER WARNING: MURDER, GUN VIOLENCE, POLICE BRUTALITY]

Taking a break from the Kavanaugh hell for a second. Let's go back to that cop who walked into a black man's apartment, killed him, and claimed she thought it was her apartment, or not.

She's been fired.

Dallas PD Fires Police Officer Who Shot Black Man in His Own Apartment

I'm glad she won't be a cop anymore, at least for a little while until another department hires her because that shit happens all the time. But let's talk about cop privilege.

This cop's story has been sketchy as fuck since the beginning. Yet this firing may be the worst that happens to her. She's been charged with manslaughter, but based on the fact that she changed her story and that "I thought it was my apartment" is the weakest defense I've ever heard, she should be charged with murder. And if it weren't for her cop privilege, not to mention her white privilege over the black man she murdered, I'm pretty sure she would be.

But the fact is that in the U.S. (at least), cops get special privileges. They have special rights.

Remember when conservatives were trying to argue that marriage equality was giving The Gays "special rights" by removing pointless legal restrictions that only hurt gay people? I think about that a lot.

You know who actually get special rights? Cops. Cops have the very special right in this country to murder whoever they want, whether on duty or not, and make up any ridiculous story they want about it, and they get to walk free because they hold a certain job. And they defend this by claiming that their job is so dangerous. Cops don't even make the top 10 list of most dangerous jobs. If anyone should get special rights, it's logging workers, who by far make up the most deaths on the job per capita.

Now, let's talk about why cops getting special rights is so dangerous. Imagine you're a fucking asshole who wants to murder, abuse, rape, steal, and ruin lives, and get away with it. All it takes is a baseline acceptable background, less training than a hairstylist, and some tests that the vast majority can pass with some physical training. Then you're handed a gun and basically a license to kill.

Please explain to me how the profession of police officer is not going to attract the worst that humanity has to offer. You know, at least from those who don't have it in them to become CEOs and Wall Street fuckoffs.

I'LL FUCKING WAIT.

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

[TRIGGER WARNING: KIDNAPPING, SEXUAL ASSAULT, STRANGLING, RAPE CULTURE]

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 forward....do 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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gif of the Day


Plop.

Now Here's Trump Jr. Being an Absolute Cockwaffle

[TRIGGER WARNING: ATTEMPTED RAPE, RAPE APOLOGIA]

If you want to know what a cockwaffle is, google "Donald Trump Jr."

So okay. There are mass amounts of fuckery going on with the GOP and their defenders right now over the whole "Brett Kavanaugh is a rapist piece of shit" thing, and there will almost certainly be more fuckery to come. One of the bits of said fuckery is the idea that because Kavanaugh's rape attempt happened in high school, it's absurd to even bring this up in relation to his SCOTUS nomination.

Here's the thing. You know how much I hate rapists. And yes, I am a completely unreasonable leftist SJW who is somehow simultaneously a witch and a witch hunter. But I am, in fact, open to forgiving people for bad things they did when they were minors. Perhaps even after. I'm not saying that Christine Blasey Ford has to forgive him. Far from it. And I think she's a hero for coming forward. However, I don't think that even as heinous and horrible a crime as sexual assault always must disqualify someone from public office.

There are some conditions to this forgiveness that I think are reasonable. First, you have admit that you did the thing. Kavanaugh denies it. You can't be forgiven for something you denied happened. And yes, I absolutely believe it happened, because who would make up something that would ruin your entire life? In this case, there's even strong evidence supporting Ford's claim. But even without that, I would 100% believe her.

Kavanaugh would have to admit that he did it. He's already fucked that up. Even if he were to turn around and admit it now, he already lied about it, so he's done. He would have needed to own up to it, apologize, denounce rape and rape culture, and then denounce all the millions of assholes calling Ford a liar and uplifting rape culture in the process. It would help a lot if he would commit to teaching his fellow men and underage boys about rape culture, consent, and why it's not okay to try and rape people. Basically, he has to demonstrate that he is no longer a rapist and will therefore not bring a rapist mindset to the Supreme Court of the United States.

None of that will happen, so fuck him.

Also, he was probably already disqualified from any kind of "it happened a long time ago" pass by being a lying, cheating, bootlicking toad who called birth control a form of abortion and is so clearly being paid off by Trump to get on the Supreme Court and make whatever ruling he's told to make. Putting him on the SCOTUS is the opposite of justice. It's corruption.

So anyway, Donald Trump Jr. posted this fake note on Instagram that says "Hi Cindy, will you be my boyfriend, yes/no" written in crayon. The implication here, I think (and I might be totally wrong because MAN right-wing bullshit is convoluted as fuck), is that Kavanaugh was so young when he attempted to rape Ford that he was practically writing in crayon at the time. Which is fucking ridiculous, because he was in high school. Pretty close to being an adult. As in if he had been a black man, he would have been tried as an adult and spent years in prison.


What Junior is also doing is comparing attempted rape (if you haven't read it, I can tell you that it is graphic, disturbing, and definitely still sexual assault which I somehow still have to constantly remind people IS A CRIME) to asking a girl out when you're nine years old. As though attempted rape is as cute and innocent as one of those "check the box if you like me" notes from elementary school.

Even fuckin' Kellyanne Conway supports Ford, you monumental cockwaffle. Why don't you go cannonball into a vat of acid?

Protect Christine Blasey Ford

[TRIGGER WARNING: ATTEMPTED RAPE]

If you don't know this name yet, Christine Blasey Ford is the woman who came forward with her story about how Kavanaugh, the current SCOTUS nominee, tried to rape her.

Ford had originally intended to remain anonymous, but in this world of assholes, she realized that somebody would eventually find her and publish her identity against her will. So she has gone public. Either way, she is a hero doing the country a great service, or at least attempting to. Unfortunately, our current government is such a fucking shit show that I don't think anything short of a meteor that directly strikes Washington D.C. will stop the confirmation of the human nightmare that is Brett Kavanaugh.

Regardless, Ford is making an incredible sacrifice and has succeeded in at least throwing some doubt into the mix and perhaps delaying the confirmation process. For this, she will inevitably be the victim of vicious attacks. I'm sure she's already being horrifically harassed. This is now going to define the rest of her life. I mean, the president of the fucking country is attacking this poor woman, and his minions are doing the same.

Four people close to the White House said they expected Republicans to question the accuser's vague memories and why Feinstein, up for reelection in November with Democratic base hungry for anti-Trump fodder, sat on the accusations for months. Three of them also said they expect the president to go after Kavanaugh's accuser rather than to turn on the judge. Those people noted that Trump has done so before, not just denouncing his own accusers but also attacking those of others, notably, failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

What we should really do is start a crowdfunding campaign to just set her up for the rest of her life. She should be able to live in reasonable comfort and privacy. It's always a nightmare to come forward about sexual assault, but she's standing up to Lord Dampnut at the same time. Let's just hope she doesn't end up dead. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Gif of the Day


Yeah, this is the kind of thing that makes me think our reality is nothing more than a sophisticated alien computer program that some higher reality college student entity is testing out for shits and giggles.

Boiling and freezing simultaneously? That's a fucking gitch.

Trump Administration Attacking Freedom of Speech Again

Oh, is it a day that ends in Y?

But seriously, this is a pretty bad one.


Good question!

The headline is misleading, however. A tax suggests a small amount of money paid per protest. In reality, the Trump Administration wants to stick protest organizers with the entire bill for anything and everything the government might decide to do to protect, contain, or obstruct a protest, and anything they could imagine might be damaged by protests, including the grass people walked on.

Last month, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the administration’s radical, anti-democratic rewriting of regulations governing free speech and demonstrations on public lands under federal jurisdiction in Washington. Under the proposal, which is open to public comment, the National Park Service (NPS) would charge protesters “event management” costs. This would include the cost of barricades and fencing erected at the discretion of police, the salaries of personnel deployed to monitor the protest, trash removal and sanitation charges, permit application charges and costs assessed on “harm to turf” — the effects of engaging in free speech on grass, as if our public green spaces are for ornamental viewing.

Keep in mind that we as the public already pay for all of these things. Public fencing and barricades, police, trash removal, maintaining public parks - those are all things that our tax dollars are meant to pay for. Protests are a part of any healthy society. We pay to make sure those can happen and for the cleanup via our tax dollars. Handing protest organizers a bill is just billing them twice in a clear and blatant attempt to stop protests before they begin. This could not be a more clear violation of the First Amendment right to protest.

And if they don't want to pay for police to be at a protest, that's fine by me, by the way. All cops do is impede and/or attack protesters, unless those protesters are white supremacists.

This will definitely be challenged in court, and I'd like to say it will definitely be struck down, but you never know. I'm also surprised that this happened last month and I'm only hearing about it now, but then again, almost anything could get buried under all the other shit this administration is trying to pull. Yet the very fact that they're trying to pull this should be enough to convince anyone that Trump and his lackeys are a bunch of fascists.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Gif of the Day


Add trolls in there and you got me.

Migrant Children Are Still Being Thrown in Cages

Remember when we all freaked out about this? Well we stopped freaking out, but the thing never actually stopped.

Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States. 
Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

I told you, they aren't going to stop unless we literally burn those prisons down.

The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Some of those who work in the migrant shelter network say the bottleneck is straining both the children and the system that cares for them.

LET THEM GO YOU FUCKING MONSTERS.

Oh but guess what. It's not just that they won't let these kids go. It's that they made it so their families are afraid to come pick them up.

The new data was reported to members of Congress, who shared it with The Times. It shows that despite the Trump administration’s efforts to discourage Central American migrants, roughly the same number of children are crossing the border as in years past. The big difference, said those familiar with the shelter system, is that red tape and fear brought on by stricter immigration enforcement have discouraged relatives and family friends from coming forward to sponsor children.

How's this for a negative attitude?


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Gif of the Day



This just never gets old.

Prisoners Are People and Thousands of Them Are Being Left in a Hurricane's Path

[TRIGGER WARNING: MASS DEATH, INHUMANE CONDITIONS, PRISONER ABUSE, DEHUMANIZATION]

We really have been conditioned in this country to view prisoners as less than human. Despite Orange is the New Black, people still largely treat prisoners like they've forfeited all rights, including even the most rudimentary human rights, because a court decided that they did something the state decided is illegal.

In South Carolina, many of these prisoners are still sitting in the path of Hurricane Florence, currently a category 3 hurricane, and the worst hurricane to hit the area since uhhhhhhhh ever.

South Carolina won’t evacuate a prison in Hurricane Florence’s path

The National Hurricane Center has said that Hurricane Florence, which is currently expected to make landfall on Friday, could be “life-threatening.” In his response, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster claimed at a news conference, “We’re not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina. Not a one.” 
But South Carolina has not evacuated prisons in response to hurricanes since 1999, the Post and Courier reported last year. A prison spokesperson told the Post and Courier at the time, “In most cases, it is safer for the public, officers, and inmates for a SCDC facility to hold in place rather than transfer and hold in a secondary location.”

Is it, though? Is it safer for prisoners?

Because Louisiana prisons lost hundreds of inmates during Hurricane Katrina after they left prisoners locked up in their supposedly safe prisons during the storm. These prisoners later described standing in chest-high water contaminated with sewage, wondering if they were about to drown, in their "safe" prison cells. Thousands spent the entire weekend with no food, no clean water, and no ventilation.

As the prison flooded with storm water befouled by raw sewage the prisoners were herded into cells with mace, locked down, and abandoned. The men completely panicked. 
“They left us like dogs,” one prisoner would later recount in the BBC documentary, Prisoners of Katrina. “Eight men in a two man cell with no food and no water, covered with mace you couldn’t wash off. It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on nobody.” 
In some cases men broke out of their cells and rioted, viciously attacking each other. The official story from the Sheriff of Orleans Parish was that there was “no loss of life.” Those who were there claim to have seen dead bodies and furiously challenged the Sheriff’s account. Who do you believe when you later learn that 517 prisoners would eventually go “unaccounted for?“

Excuse me? 517 prisoners? Unaccounted for?

The above was originally published four years after Hurricane Katrina. Those prisoners were never found. If prisoners are "lost" from a prison, then they either escaped or they're fucking dead. Now, if a prison had 517 people escape, I'm assuming there would be some kind of mass panic. Prison escapes are big news, even when it's just one individual. But 517?

This is just speculation, but those people are definitely dead. There are surviving prisoners and former prisoners who said they saw bodies floating in the water during that horrific weekend. 517 people dead and nobody gives a fuck. Because they were prisoners. Worth less than stray cats and dogs. Deserved to die like that, even.

What is wrong with us? Protections against cruel and unusual punishment are coded into our constitution, yet someone commits any kind of crime that lands them a year or more sentence and they deserve to spend days standing in shit-streaked water, no food, no clean water, no ability to sleep, pissing themselves, wondering if they're just going to die there? That's a kind of torture I can't even comprehend.

People have been posting about this on social media and I see responses that are straight up "who cares, they deserve to die." One person was like "don't worry, prisons are fined for every inmate who died in their care, so they'll be held accountable." A) no they fucking won't, no amount of money paid can make up for a human life lost and B) how the fuck do actually convince yourself that people being left in cages to die is okay as long as someone is sued for it?? Those are people. They could die. Lawsuits won't mean shit to them WHEN THEY'RE DEAD.

These people are not just numbers. They're not insects. They're not a dollar value. They're not demons or pure evil beings. They're people. Every one of them. From the poor kid who was caught with just a bit too much weed to the serial rapist. You know I hate rapists, but I also know I don't get to decide that they deserve to die, even if I might wish death upon them in my dark moments.

Every moment you allow yourself to believe that prisoners are less than human, you feed into a system of for-profit slavery that allows corporations to make billions off of arresting as many people (usually people of color) as possible for whatever bullshit they can come up with, then dehumanizing, abusing, and enslaving them. And I'm going to have to call out my friends on Facebook, some of whom read this blog, because I posted about the 517 "missing" inmates from Hurrican Katrina on my Facebook account and I got nothing. Total crickets. Not even a like.

Prisoners are people. Prisoners Are People. How can I get this to sink into your brains and your souls? PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE.

Amazon is Making Whole Foods a Terrible Place to Work

So you all know how much I hate Amazon ever since they settled into Seattle, started shipping in techbros from all over the country and jacking up rent for everyone else, and continuing to foster work environments that make people want to jump off the room or just make them collapse in exhaustion and have to leave work in an ambulance, all while not paying employees anything close to what they're worth, and making obscene profits off of all that while the homeless population in the area has skyrocketed while they've been here.

Despite the above, people (mostly upper class white people) have continued to defend Amazon and Darth Bezos. Now, I've never bought anything at a Whole Foods and only actually been inside one once, because I think they only have them in Bellevue and yes, everything there is overpriced. Then Amazon took over, meaning I'm definitely not ever buying anything there, but also, conditions for workers have apparently tanked.

Whole Foods workers seek to unionize, citing worsening conditions and low morale under Amazon

“Over the past year, layoffs and the consolidation of store level positions at Whole Foods Market have upset the livelihood of team members, stirred anxiety,” and lowered morale within stores, the email said. It also alleged that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods came with an agreement to trim hundreds of millions of dollars in labor costs from the chain’s stores.

I hope they successfully unionize, I hope they take Amazon to the cleaners, and I hope Bezos cries.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Gif of the Day


Okay 1) That was definitely going to happen when you put that cat tree next to the bookcase and 2) look at the content of that bookcase what a NERD I wish I was their friend.

Being Considerate Will Not Be the Thing That Kills Us

Don't get me wrong. I don't think the human race is going to make it. But I think it's going to be climate change caused by massive corporations spewing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and refusing to stop in spite of decades of warnings about how it's going to doom us all because nothing matters to the capitalist but short term profits.

Others apparently think that what will be our downfall is young people being like "um, hey, could you just... not be an asshole?"

Does Our Cultural Obsession With Safety Spell the Downfall of Democracy?




This headline. Look. There are some things to be said about our weird, selective cultural "obsession" with safety. It may be true that over-protective parenting by people who became parents in the 80s might have promoted anxiety disorders in kids who were accidentally taught that the world isn't safe. My anxiety disorder came from my dad having anger issues and screaming at his kids any time they dropped a glass or spilled something, or sometimes for things he just made up. But whatever.

But that's a small part of the article above.

“The Coddling of the American Mind,” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, proceeds from many of the same premises and touchstones as “Splintering,” but makes a much more disturbing and comprehensive analysis of recent campus trends. The book, which expands on a widely circulated 2015 article in The Atlantic, identifies what the authors refer to as “the three Great Untruths” of the current moment: “what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker”; “always trust your feelings”; “life is a battle between good people and evil people.” It’s a moment profoundly reshaped in the sanitized image of the hyper-connected and -protected “iGen” generation (short for “internet generation”), which directly succeeds the millennials. Members of iGen, according to the psychologist Jean Twenge, who coined the term, are “obsessed with safety,” which they define to include expansive notions of “emotional safety.” They began arriving on college campuses in 2013. Rates of anxiety and depression soon skyrocketed, along with demands for trigger warnings, safe spaces and disinvitations to controversial speakers, as well as sometimes violent confrontations with such speakers when they did appear on campus.

Here's the thing. There are so many reasons why these kids might be anxious and depressed. An increasingly demanding education system paired with an uncertain-at-best future, for example. There are so many things wrong with the world right now and so many things in the U.S. that could be spelling the "downfall of democracy" here. And I just really think that young adults who are going into college and being like "can you just warn me if you're going to talk about rape and also maybe not invite neo nazis to speak here because that attracts more neo nazis and I'm Jewish/black/queer/disabled?" is pretty far down on the list of possibilities.

Things on my list of why our democracy is fucked that come before young adults asking for trigger warnings:


  • Our president acting like every dictator has ever acted before they seized total power.
  • The rising numbers of people in this country who think that fascism/dictatorship would be acceptable, desirable, or fucking awesome.
  • Increasing hate crimes coupled with segregation.
  • The rising costs of education coupled with decreased funding to public schools.
  • Every sign of the rapidly approaching genocide of Latinx people and other immigrants.
  • Chipping away of human rights.
  • Attacks on the free press.
  • Militarization of the police.
  • Foreign powers fucking with our elections and causing the people to lose faith in the legitimacy of our elections.
  • The collapse of the American economy due to Trump being a complete walnut.
  • Climate change coming in and just wiping human society off the map.

There's more but that's a good basic list of the top things that come to mind when I think about why our democracy might fall down.

It just blows my mind that all the above is going on and a couple of highly educated dudes decided to write an entire book on why the downfall of Ameican democracy will be due to young people asking for trigger warnings and protesting neo nazis on their campuses.

Yes. Sure. There are some examples of """SJWs""" or whatever you want to call them "going too far," maybe because they're going through some shit, maybe because that particular individual is just an asshole. I'm 100% certain that there are manipulative, abusive people out there who will jump on the most convenient movement in order to try and manipulate and abuse people. I've seen it. I've seen people obsessively dig through an individual's past, find one racist thing they said when they were 12, and demand that entire communities ostracize that person for that one thing they said where their brain was only half developed. There are always assholes within any movement.

But if you pick through all the good a movement has done, find these odd couple of examples of people being assholes within the movement, and use that to declare that the movement will DESTROY DEMOCRACY while there are actual fascists in our federal government right now working specifically and intentionally to do that - you might be the real asshole.

And also, those kids putting their lives on the line to protest against nazis coming to their colleges to preach hate and promote genocide are the ones who just might save our democracy. You, meanwhile, will probably be crying for a safe space when the poor masses drag you out of your ugly giant house with its three car garage and judge you for having a million-dollar home while babies were starving in the streets.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Gif of the Day


Bye grandpa.

Transphobes Are Still Murdering Black Trans Women

This is one of those things I'm going to be reminding my fellow cis people of periodically.

Three Young, Transgender Women Were Killed In The Past Week

19 trans people have been murdered this year, and 13 of them have been black. Three of them have been in Jacksonville, Florida, so any black trans women in the area should be extremely cautious.

Last year, 21 trans people had been murdered by September 10. So we're actually doing slightly better, but any anti-trans hate crimes are unacceptable. It's also alarming that so many of these people are women and so many are black women.

We cis and white people need to be vigilant against any transphobia, and especially transmisogynoir, that we come across. Don't stop until the murders stop.

Welcome Back

Hey so a lot of intense stuff happened in the news right after I decided to take a break last week, of course. I did have a good week. Me and my significant other got a new/used car! And now every time I look at it I feel like such a capitalist. We bought one at a dealership instead of a private sale. And when I look at it I see $17,000 in debt. Also apparently on the new cars, the electronics control everything, die faster, and are more expensive to replace! Whee!

But damn it is nice to have two cars for two people. I won't be trapped at home anymore. And uhhhhh something something Bluetooth.

Anyway last week people in Iowa got robocalls calling for the death of all Latinx people from a neo-nazi group.

“She was stabbed in the back by an invader from Mexico,” the one-and-a-half minute call says, according to KCCI. The call begins with referencing Tibbetts’ death, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant. 
The call then takes a more disturbing turn, calling for the annihilation of all 58 million Latinos living in the United States. 
“Refound America as whites only and get rid of them now. Every last one,” the call says.

This news came to light right after this other news:

U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.

By "Hispanics" they mean Latinx people.

Accusing thousands of people of using "fraudulent birth certificates." That sounds familiar. How long has Trump been planning this? Get racists into a frenzy about birth certificates during the Age of the Black President, then start accusing other brown people of having fake birth certificates. Meanwhile, in Iowa...

What I'm saying is that we're getting closer to full-on genocide every day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Gif of the Day


Okay but if you look closely, Mario somehow ends up in the back on the little bus after the frog attempts to commit vehicular homicide.

Video games are getting weirder.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Gif of the Day


This is a great metaphor for trying to achieve everything in your 20s. Or me applying to art school.

Afternoon Announcements

So it's Labor Day, and I sincerely hope that means you're not working today. But there's a good chance that you are, especially if you work in an undervalued, underpaid position. As for me, being a freelancer, I have the privilege of being able to not work whenever I want, though it means I don't get paid.

It's also my birthday week. I turn 30 on Friday and I've got some wisdom for the youngsters out there still slogging through their 20s.

I started out college determined to become a graphic design major because it seemed like it would be lucrative in the future even though my true love was writing. I was rejected by the university's art school the first time I applied. I knew I could apply again, but it got me wondering if art was really my thing.

It's not. Look at this blog. I mean.

It was actually seeing Clerks 2 that made me realize that I should chase what I want instead of chasing what other people thought I should want. I switched my major to English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Useless, right?

Fuckin' wrong, assholes.

But to be honest, I was just lucky. I've been lucky in a lot of ways. In other ways, not so much. I flailed about a lot in my 20s, trying to get into marketing, suffering from intense imposter syndrome, trying for years to break into video game journalism, failing, getting into social justice, pitching articles, getting rejected 90% of the time, working underpaid freelance writing job along with underpaid day jobs/part time jobs in food service and retail/cat boarding/cat grooming/cat adoption (yes that was all one job), battling increasing anxiety and depression in boring, unfulfilling desk jobs.

And I've come out the other end here. I have one freelance gig working with RockYou Media, which has become a lot of fluff and celebrity news but helps pay the bills. Then, very recently, I followed a gut feeling into applying for a research position for a foundation focused on providing information about opioids and addiction. It may go nowhere, or it may end up being a salaried position that could allow me to save up for a down payment on an actual house.

Then entire time, despite the fact that I had heard/read from multiple sources that your life won't really settle down until your 30s, I often felt inadequate. Everyone likes to think they're going to be better than most and figure everything out by 25. It's just unrealistic. After all that school, you need 8-12 years of flailing about to get settled into life. At least.

There really is no rush. There's no age at which you should have everything figured out. And with capitalism rapidly decaying, finding any kind of stability is getting more difficult every year. You cannot expect to figure anything out before your 30s. Really try not to. Relax a little. Spend some time partying and fucking up if you can.

But also know that you'll still struggle with the pressure to get all the stuff nailed down in your 20s. You'll still feel bad and get down on yourself. But try to know that it will get better. I'll be over here working hard to make sure that what I've said can be true for everybody, not just the privileged.

There have been many times through my 20s where I cried because I experienced a setback and felt like nothing would ever change. That I would always be in the same state of instability, precariousness, and struggle. But I kept going, because you just have to, and now I'm in a pretty good place that might become even better soon.

In my 30s, I expect to continue to struggle with setbacks, feeling inadequate, accepting my aging and fat body, making myself go outside sometimes, and the ever-present anxiety over everything. But I'll be okay, at least until the economy collapses.

Life is weird and choatic and uncertain. Nothing is guaranteed, everything can go wrong, and it's terrifying. Please keep going. I love all my friends and social media mutuals and people who read this blog who have never written a word to me. Go easy on yourself. Maybe one day I'll actually re-design this blog. You'll want to see that. It's gonna be great.

And that's a very long-winded way of saying I'm taking the week off from blogging, okay byeeeeee!