Friday, March 29, 2019

Gif of the Day


This is definitely going to end up in my regular reaction gif rotation.

Imagine A Better World

I spend a lot of time on this blog just reporting on horrible things. Ranting about horrible things. Horrible horrible horrible because all day I'm on social media and reading/watching the news and so much is horrible horrible horrible. Part of that is that my main freelance gig right now is to report on the horrible shit Republicans are doing, which is why I don't blog as much as I used to. I can only take so much.

It's so hard to see all this horrible day after day and not have it get to me. And clearly, I have a pretty grim view of the world and the future of humanity. Evil has so much power right now during such a dire time, when climate change literally threatens our entire species and most life on the planet. But what's also overwhelming is how much average people have unknowingly succumbed to some of the most rank propaganda that when you actually examine it, you tend to go, "why did I ever believe this to be true?"

One of the biggest lies is that this is how the world has to be. A big part of that is the idea that capitalism is the only system that works. It's not, and depending on your definition of "working," it might not be accurate to say it works now. If it's intended purpose is to concentrate all of the world's resources in the hands of the few while the rest of us struggle and suffer and die, then sure, it's working.

But is that how it has to be?

I still hear the lies of capitalism come out of the mouths of those close to me all the time. For example, the idea that human beings can only be motivated by money. Bullshit. Absolute bullshit. Bullshit that is refuted every day by all of the things we human beings do for free.

I write in this blog for free. I've been doing it for years and received very little in donations, not even close to enough to cover what I pay for that URL and basic security to guard against possible hate mobs. And this blog is work. It's hard for me to think of it as work because again, propaganda. I have to remind myself that yes, it is work. It's draining. But I keep doing for other rewards that are not money. I'm motivated by personal gratification, by the joys of having a space to write completely unhindered by anyone else's motivations, by the idea that there are some people who will find a blog post every now and then and feel comforted or inspired or enrage or validated, and yes, by spite.

And that's not all. I take care of a cat who needs more care than most. I give her medication and carefully prepare her wet food with added raw meat I cut up into little chunks for her and then add Miralax, fiber, and water. I scoop her poop. Willingly. I do that all the time, for nothing more than a little extra serotonin and because cute and soft and love.

There are countless examples of communities coming together to build something the community needed for free. People who don't need to work because they have rich spouses or are independently wealthy still seek out work, and many people volunteer to do all kinds of unpaid work. People also worked before money existed. Someone asked me recently how we could have doctors if they didn't get paid a lot of money to be doctors, and I was floored. There have always been healers. Long before money was a thing, people lived together in small communities and the people who wanted to be healers became healers and healed people for free. All the people in those communities did what they did without pay, and everyone got fed and got to see the healer when they were sick and homes were built for them by the community and everyone took care of everyone.

It can be like that again. It is not inevitable that people should have to fear homelessness, hunger, and an inability to see a doctor. We can have true community and the security that comes with that again, but with all the incredible technology we have now. We can have that if we want it.

But first, you have to reject the capitalist propaganda you've been fed since birth. You have to imagine a better world. Not just a world that is essentially the same but some things are reformed to make them a bit better for most people. Imagine a paradise. Imagine utopia. Why settle for less? Are you really happy with the way the world is? If you read this blog regularly, I'm guessing the answer is no. And I think for the vast majority of people, the answer is no. We're not even free. We are forced to work, to do things we'd rather not do or just would rather not be forced to do so in order to avoid homelessness, starvation, and early death. Are you really free if your only "choice" outside of the capitalist version of "work" is homelessness, hunger, and early death?

Imagine being truly free. Imagine a world where all people can be truly free to do what they want. And instead of asking "how will we pay for it," ask "why aren't we paying for it?" Money doesn't even need to exist. Imagine a world without it. John Lennon was an abusive misogynist but that one song was pretty good, although the ideas in it don't belong to him. You have always possessed the ability to imagine a better world. Ask yourself who are the people telling you that it's not possible, who are the people trying to get you NOT to imagine a better world, and why are they doing that?

Then do it. Do it out of spite, or because it feels good. If we can imagine it, we can make it happen. That is the truth.

You know one thing I really hate about capitalism? It's so pessimistic. It's all about "can't." It imagines the worst of humanity. I reject that. Socialism, communism, and anarchism, at their cores, imagine the best of humanity and work toward a global community where everyone is taken care of and suffering is fought against and solved rather than being called necessary. I may become pessimistic at times, or at a lot of times, but at heart, I'm a starry-eyed optimist and FUCK YOU if you try to tell me that humanity needs to be coerced, bribed, and threatened into doing anything good. It's a lie. A lie that is proven wrong every second of every day as people perform unpaid labor out of love.

It can be so much better. I truly believe that.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Gif of the Day


Pupper fur is great for nests.

ICE Admits They Don't Care About White Undocumented Immigrants

This is amazing/horrible.


Wait wait it gets better/worse.




No, I'm not surprised. I mean I'm a little surprised that they just straight up admitted it but I guess that's where we're at.

As a bonus, these tweets also revealed to me that there is a Twitter account you can call on to scream for you.


Same.

Alt-Right's "Baked Alaska" Quits The Alt-Right Over His Ruined Life

Some people are so strictly against doxxing and I do kind of understand, but on the other hand, how can you argue with these results?


Remember Baked Alaska, the alt-right memelord who got pepper-sprayed in Charlottesville and memorably cried out for milk? Now he tells me he’s ditching the alt-right, which he says has ruined his life.

Alaska — real name Timothy Gionet — called me last week from Phoenix, where he’s living after watching his internet fameball career crash and burn along with the rest of his racist movement.

“It’s been a pretty big disaster, to be honest,” Gionet said. “It’s been terrible for my employment opportunities, my reputation. It’s ruined lifelong friendships, it’s ruined relationships with family. It’s hurt my soul.”

You only have yourself to blame, Tim.

“I really thought this was just fun memes and jokes and edgy 4Chan posting and all this stuff, and then you get to the end of this rabbit hole and you realize these guys are serious,” Gionet said.

When did you realize this shit was serious, Tim? When you got pepper sprayed in the face for marching in a neo-nazi rally with a bunch of white dudes chanting "Jews will not replace us" with torches?

I don't believe for a second that this guy didn't know what he was getting into, but I do think that a lot of white dudes who are just everyday assholes do get sucked into the embarrassing 4chan edge meme fuck culture and are then indoctrinated into white nationalism because that's what that shit is for and people have been yelling about that for a long time.

Now Tim is "restyling" himself as an Andrew Yang supporter, so suffice it to say that Andrew Yang is canceled.

Keep ruining white supremacist lives, everybody!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Gif of the Day


Well, guy, choosing that particular hair stylist was clearly not the first mistake you ever made.

Talking about the facial hair.

RIP Amber Evans

[TRIGGER WARNING: POSSIBLE SUICIDES, POLICE BRUTALITY, MURDER]

It is truly terrifying how many black activists mysteriously turn up dead, and it goes without saying but obviously if these were white kids, people would be freaking out and demanding answers.'

Maybe you've heard that six young black men connected to the Ferguson protests have died under mysterious circumstances. Two were found burnt up in their cars with bullets in their heads. One was clearly lynched. Only one of them was probably a real suicide.

Now, a black Ohio-based social justice activist woman was found dead in a river after mysteriously disappearing in January.

Evans was a well-known community activist in the city, working with a variety of social justice organizations. Since 2015, she had worked with Juvenile Justice Coalition; she was promoted to executive director weeks before her disappearance. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Evans played a key role in organizing protests at Columbus City Hall; she was also “heavily involved” with the People’s Justice Project, a nonprofit dedicated to organizing working people and people of color across Columbus.

Police were treating her as a "distraught missing person" because of the domestic dispute, which sounds like a setup to declaring her death a suicide. But her mother is adamant that she was not distressed and would not have committed suicide. While I acknowledge that you never know a person's mind, this is all suspicious as fuck and it terrifies me.

Too many young black activists are dying. And if you know anything about the history of the assassination of black activists in the 60s, like for example how the U.S. government literally murdered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how the same government bombed entire buildings to get at other black activists, and how police used flimsy pretense to bust into the homes of Black Panthers and riddle everyone and everything they could with bullets, you should be terrified, too.

RIP Amber Evans. I hope your death was not for nothing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Gif of the Day


BABY.

Trigger Warnings Work For Me And Fuck You, New Study Finds

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE CULTURE, TRAUMA]

If you're confused right now, that headline and this article is a direct response to the Pacific Standard article that showed up in my inbox this morning.

Trigger Warnings Do Not Work, New Study Finds

I don't remember how or why I ended up subscribing to the Pacific Standard weekly newsletter, but I thought they were a pretty good publication, so I let it slide. Not anymore. UNSUBSCRIBE.

I would love to go over this study in detail, but unfortunately, it's behind a fucking paywall. However, this one line buried in this incredibly irresponsible article with the irresponsible headline tells me all I need to know.

"It's worth noting that the study participants did not include people with diagnosed psychological ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorder."

So you're telling me that they stuck a bunch of neurotypicals in front of a screen, showed them disturbing content, and they were disturbed? Groundbreaking!

This study and the reporting on it, which is shitty across the board although the New York Times' headline is at least better, represent a complete misunderstanding of the nature of trauma and triggers.

Trigger warnings work for me every time. The point of trigger warnings is to warn me that there might be triggering content ahead. As soon as that warning is delivered, their purpose has been served. They work by existing.

I'm well aware that I will likely still end up with emotional distress after reading the triggering content even with the warning. I know that trigger warnings aren't a magical shield that prevents me from feeling disturbed by disturbing content. Trigger warnings allow me to decide whether or not I want to read or watch the thing based on how I'm feeling BEFORE I read it.

The study and the article fail to represent even a basic understanding of emotional/trauma triggers. Being triggered can result in anything from low-level emotional distress to emotional numbing to full-blown panic attacks that make you feel like your brain is tearing itself apart and the fabric of space-time with it. Trigger warnings can allow me to steel myself in a way so that I feel emotional distress, yes, but I can keep myself from spiraling into a panic attack or a deep depression.

Other times trigger warnings don't work, because triggers are complicated as fuck. I once read a book that did not have trigger warnings, but I was able to essentially trigger warn myself. The book was about a sex worker and I was fully aware how often sex workers are sexually assaulted. But it was a review copy, so I steeled myself and read on. I ended up identifying deeply with the protagonist and when the sexual assault scene did come, I was triggered. I felt emotional distress. But the part that was much more triggering than the assault itself was the way it was brushed off by the staff of the BDSM dungeon and the way the protagonist had her career ruined by it but she couldn't see it, and ended up quitting and marrying a guy who was clearly a misogynist and maybe an abuser. And the fact that it was non-fiction.

ALL of those details converged into one of the worst triggering events of my life. But even though a trigger warning in that case would not have prevented that, it doesn't mean I think trigger warnings don't work. In the vast majority of cases, they help. And again, their very existence allows me to avoid triggers entirely when I need to.

I need trigger warnings. But there's a subset of people out there who think that trigger warnings are the work of the devil or something. People literally write entire books about how trigger warnings will bring about the end of the human species. People will see this study AND this headline from a respected publication and use it as an excuse not to use trigger warnings and to further hound people who do and attack people who ask for them. I'm so tired already of having to explain how triggers actually work and now I feel like I'm going to have to do it all over again to every asshole shitstain who sends me a link to that same fucking article.

So fuck you, Pacific Standard, for your shitty, ignorant garbage pile of an article and your even shittier clickbait fuck headline. Way to help make life even more miserable for those of us who have PTSD or any other mental illness or trauma that leaves us with triggers that make life a fucking minefield already. Thanks for trying to take away our one little safety vest in an ocean of shit. Trigger warnings are so easy to post, too. It takes so little effort. But sure, declare they don't work in spite of the millions of us who actually need them screaming that THEY FUCKING WORK AND WE NEED THEM. Because clicks or whatever.

I hate you, Pacific Standard, and anyone else even reporting on this shitty study.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Gif of the Day


Remember these fuckers? I was so into these when I was a kid.

This Thread On The Mueller Report

[TRIGGER WARNING: MENTION OF RAPE AND POLICE BRUALITY]

It might make you feel better, it might make you feel worse, and it will remind you once again that shit is a lot more complicated than the news media makes it seem, especially when they're not actually educated in the thing they're reporting on.


This is a long thread. It's over 40 tweets in total. But it's important if you want to talk about the Mueller "report" at all.

This is why I put the word report in scare quotes:


Seth Abramson is an actual attorney who has done a LOT of research into all the various investigations going on around Trump and all the illegal shit he's done during and before his presidency.

Now, I want to make it clear that I am not an attorney or an expert on anything involved in these investigations. So I can't tell if Abramson is right or wrong here. But I tend to believe the people who say "this complex legal thing here is a lot more complex than the super simplified version the media is presenting" because it's usually true. Exceptions include rape cases and cases of black people being shot by cops, which the media want to make way more complex than necessary in order to obscure the truth and uphold rape culture/white supremacy. You know.

Anyway, I still think everyone should read this thread and generally refrain from putting too much stock in whatever it was that Mueller handed to Barr. I'm almost certain that it's not the whole story, and I'm looking forward to more indictments in the future, which will sting all the more after Republicans have all declared victory.

Keep fighting. Don't let anybody tell you that Trump has been exonerated and don't feel discouraged just because the media says it's over. It's not over.

2020 Challenger Lineup: Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg! The guy with the last name that has "butt" in it that no one knows how to pronounce. Also the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate ever. He's also only 37, so we can't dismiss him for being "another old white guy."

Buttigieg has been the mayor of a town in Indiana since 2012 and is a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and veteran of the War in Afghanistan. For me, this is a red flag.

He seems to have been a pretty popular mayor in South Bend, Indiana. His biggest accomplishments have been his Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative to repair or demolish 1,000 decrepit properties in 1,000 days and his second term's "Smart Streets" program to fix one-way streets, widen sidewalks, and add bike lanes to downtown.

But it wasn't all good times during his time as mayor. There was apparently a "scandal" in the city's police department wherein some high-ranking cops were accidentally recorded on their phones saying racist shit about the city's first black police chief. When the police communications director discovered the mistake and the racist, she told said first black police chief about it, and he ordered her to continue the recordings, I'm assuming because racism.

When this all came to light, it looks like all the cops freaked out because some of the recordings may have been illegal wiretapping. And, you know, because cops caught being racist. But that's not what they focused on. Guess who Buttigieg sided with?

The matter became public in 2012, when Mayor Pete Buttigieg demoted Boykins and fired DePaepe, citing a then-ongoing investigation into whether the recordings violated the federal Wiretap Act.

Boykins is the former police chief and DePaepe is the communications director.

The whole thing exploded, DePaepe ended up getting a settlement from the city for wrongful termination, and the legal battle over what's in the tapes, which tapes are legal to listen to, etc. went on for years. The last news on it was in summer 2017.

So Buttigieg will need to answer for that. And I'm suspicious of the white military man who sided with white police on their alleged right to be racist little shits on the phone.

But uhhhhh he can speak a lot of languages.

So what are his campaign positions?

Well, you wouldn't know if you looked at his campaign website. What is the deal with all these campaign sites that don't even list any positions on key issues? The about section tells me nothing I didn't learn from Wikipedia and also what the fuck is "boot edge edge"?

Thankfully PBS is picking up some of the slack.

Buttigieg is an advocate of "smart sewers." He, uh, migrated South Bend's sewer system to the cloud. It sounds gross but apparently the data saved the city $100 million in new pipes. Cool.

Also, he supports the Green New Deal, is pro-labor and anti-NAFTA, is pro-gun control, says he supports single-payer healthcare but wants to first transition to something that "would not eliminate private insurance companies" (suspicious), supports trans people's right to transition in prison and serve in the military, and is in favor of the Equality Act.

On immigration, he supports DACA, has been a vocal critic of Trump's immigration policy, and "vehemently opposes" sending U.S. troops to the Southern border. But maybe not for the right reasons. He called it a "waste of time" for the military.

He also wrote this HuffPost piece about how great these Trump supporters are for standing up for the one undocumented person they knew.

On foreign policy, he supports pulling troops out of Afghanistan but has "criticized Trump’s plans to withdraw from Syria." He also called Iran the biggest threat to Israel on The View.

Looking at his Twitter account, he has specifically condemned white nationalism, calling it a "deadly disease."

I really don't feel great about Buttigieg. I don't think I can give him better than a C+ considering the crap he pulled with his police force and his military background. I also feel like he doesn't have much of a chance and that this might be another ploy to get political attention. But either way, don't fall for yet another handsome-ish white male candidate. His gayness isn't making up for his imperialistic leanings.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Gif of the Day


When the pep talk's just not working.

I Stand With Patricia Okoumou

Patricia Okoumou, the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest the appalling U.S. family separation policy at the Southern border, was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service. I'm guessing they're not going to subtract the hours she spent on the Statue of Liberty doing service to the entire country.

It's bullshit that she was charged with anything in the first place, but a relief that she will not have to serve any prison time.

She also showed up to the sentencing with tape over her mouth to protest the violation of freedom of speech that was her conviction and vowed to continue protesting. She is an incredibly brave woman, risking so much as a black woman standing up to police during her Statue of Liberty protest, and I will stand with her at every turn. We should all be thankful that Patricia Okoumou is out there fighting for our rights, fighting for what's right, and fighting for a more just and less cruel world.


Thank you, Ms. Okoumou. I hope to be as brave as you one day.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Gif of the Day


I must have saved this gif when I was fuckin high. On weed, not opioids.

Border Patrol Detains 9-Year-Old Citizen, Assuming She Was Undocumented

Oh boy, I sure am glad that the U.S. Border Patrol is out there keeping us safe from *checks notes* nine-year-old girls who are actually U.S. citizens.

Border Patrol detains 9 year old U.S. citizen for 36 hours after falsely accusing her of lying about her identify

I'm sure BoingBoing meant "identity." I'm available for proofreading work.

In San Diego, the United States Border Patrol grabbed a girl who is 9 and a U.S. citizen and on her way to school, accused her of lying about her identity, then detained her for 36 hours. 
Many families in the San Diego-Tijuana area cross the border routinely for work, school, and shopping. The child and her mother live on the Mexico side, and school is on the U.S. side. 
They were reunited after the kid had been held away from her parents for 36 hours, when the Mexican consulate got involved.

Not only that, but Border Patrol tried to intimidate the little girl into admitting she was someone else and forced her brother, who was also detained, to sign a document saying his sister was actually his cousin. They also accused him smuggling and told him they were going to charge him with human trafficking. He's 14.

“My daughter told her brother that the officer told her that if she admitted that she was her cousin, she would be released soon so she could see her mom,” Galaxia said. 
“I was scared. I was sad because I didn't have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself,” Julia Medina said. She said she woke up several times throughout the night, sad because she wasn’t with her family. 
Galaxia said officers made Oscar Medina sign a document that said his little sister was his cousin. 
“That is not true,” Galaxia said. “She is my daughter. He was told that he would be taken to jail and they were going to charge him for human trafficking and sex trafficking.”
Oscar told NBC 7 he felt terrible for signing the document. He said he just wanted to see his sister.

FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL FUCK BORDER PATROL.

Fuck this racist, child-abusing terrorist organization. Abolish Border Patrol with ICE. Stop fucking harassing and traumatizing little kids of color.

Kirsten Gillibrand Swings And Misses On Opioids

[TRIGGER WARNING: ADDICTION, SUICIDE]

Kirsten Gillibrand might be the candidate who I am most positive about, being decently far left without a lot of shit weighing her down, and having swung left long before looking to run for president. However, a recent tweet about the opioid epidemic was a big miss for me and for the many chronic pain patients in the U.S.


I've talked about the clusterfuck that is the opioid epidemic, and the government response to the opioid epidemic, before. I accidentally got onto the path of being a substance use and addiction writer because of my background in psychology. I also happen to know a few people coping with chronic illness and/or pain. So I'm pretty familiar with the story.

In short, pharmaceutical companies created take-home prescription opioids that were milder and safer than straight up morphine. They knew these meds were still addictive and dangerous at high doses, but they aggressively downplayed these dangers and marketed them hard toward doctors, giving them perks for agreeing to prescribe more OxyContin or whatever the drug of the day was. Doctors started giving out opioids like candy, prescribing them for uncomplicated wisdom teeth extraction without even asking patients if they wanted them (this is my exact experience), and then people started to notice rising rates in addiction and overdose to these pills.

There was some anti-drug hysteria and doctors started cutting back on the opioid prescriptions hard. However, this only created a black market for pills people were already addicted to. Once cops started cracking down on the black market and it was too hard to get the relatively safe pills, addicted people turned to heroin. Then in 2013, fentanyl arrived on the scene and started killing people en masse, the government ignored the problem for too long until the data about the huge spikes in overdose deaths came out, and everyone freaked out.

Instead of focusing on the issue of illicit fentanyl and treating people who were already addicted, people went hard after the prescription pills. Laws were passed, doctors got scared, and now in Washington State there are already widespread policies allowing for only three-day supplies of opioids stronger than codeine in most cases. My boyfriend slips on ice outside our apartment, thinks he may have cracked a rib, and we have to go to the emergency room just to get him any pain relief at all, and is in pain for over a month after his three days of Vicodin runs out and ends up crying at work because he can't afford to miss any more days but is in horrible pain.

Meanwhile, opioid hysteria causes doctors to start forcing chronic pain patients off of the pain meds they've been taking for years already when there is no effective replacement. These individuals literally start killing themselves because they can't face a lifetime of horrific pain at every waking moment.

Then Kirsten Gillibrand tweets this shit.

Okay, I am incapable of making stories short. But all those details are important. A real short version would be capitalism creates problem, government fails to respond to problem for years, problem starts killing a shit ton of people, government responds too late and also in the wrong way, people start killing themselves. Whee!

There have been many negative responses to Gillibrand's tweet, and hopefully she'll hear them. There are multiple problems with her statement, including the fact that being prescribed a potentially addictive substance is NOT the "root cause" of addiction. I believe it's human misery mixing with the physical aspects of addiction, but it's definitely more complex than taking Vicodin for more than a week. Also, as many pointed out, "acute" pain is any pain that lasts for less than six months. Let's see Gillibrand endure five months and three weeks of acute pain and then she can have an opinion on opioid prescriptions.

Yes, my dental surgeon should not have given me a bottle of Vicodin for my routine and easy two wisdom tooth extraction when I was 17. I didn't use them and my brother almost certainly stole them out of my cabinet and took them for funsies. Big Pharma is largely responsible for many people's opioid addictions and should have their asses handed to them. But that doesn't mean opioids should be rationed like they're the last bit of food on the lifeboat. Until a real alternative is developed, chronic pain patients need opioids to live. People with no history of addiction who are in serious pain should be allowed to have more than a week's worth of opioids with the proper warnings and monitoring. And, as always, capitalism should be abolished.

I am hoping that this tweet and the response will bring some attention to the issue of chronic pain patients being forced off of their meds. These people are crying out for help and have been largely ignored so far. We need to realize that ignorant, knee-jerk responses to problems almost always hurt more than they help. America and possibly all of humanity has never managed to learn this lesson so far, but let's keep trying. Because holy fuck, people are killing themselves. Please stop, Kirsten.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gif of the Day


Remember to wash your anger fox regularly.

Listen To The People Who Confronted Chelsea Clinton

Shortly after the New Zealand mosque terrorist attacks, two young students confronted Chelsea Clinton at a vigil for the victims over her criticisms of Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been under fire (mostly racist fire) for going after Israel.

Let me back up.

A couple weeks ago, Omar started publicly criticizing Israel and Israeli lobbies operating in this country. Everybody freaked out because, if you know anything about the U.S., this is just Not Done. Not by politicians, anyway.

Some Jewish Americans said she was engaging in antisemitic tropes in her criticisms. Some said she was not. Many right-wing assholes who constantly engage in antisemitic tropes and support the same white supremacy that absolutely targets Jewish people jumped on the opportunity to attack the Muslim, Somali, hijabi, refugee congresswoman, because they are racist and Islamophobic assholes.

I am not Jewish so it's not for me to say if there was engagement in antisemitic tropes going on in Omar's statements/tweets. But I recognize opportunistic bullshit when I see it, Fox News.

Chelsea Clinton, who is also not Jewish, publicly criticized Omar and tweeted directly at Omar during this time chastising her for the alleged antisemitism. She and Omar had a bit of a discussion on Twitter, which appeared to be friendly. Omar also engaged with multiple Jewish community leaders, apologized, and promised to educate herself on antisemitic language.

Fast forward to last weekend. The terrorist attack happens, and Chelsea Clinton attends a vigil for the victims. Two students, one a Jewish American-Israeli, Rose Asaf, and one a Palestinian Muslim, Leen Dweik, took a video of themselves confronting her for piling onto Omar, saying that the attacks on the congresswoman are part of cultural Islamophobia that leads to shit like mass shootings at mosques.

And everyone flipped out.

I've been on Twitter a lot lately because of work, and due to the nature of my work, I get a lot of liberals on my feed, which is much different from my preferred social media platform, Tumblr. So I saw a lot of outrage toward these students, and particularly toward the Palestinian Muslim woman, with people saying it was ridiculous for them to "blame" Chelsea for the shootings.

My position is this: Every person of an oppressed community has good reason and a right to be sensitive about their own oppression. Are Jewish people hypersensitive about antisemitism? Fucking right they are, and they have earned that sensitivity. Do you know how many times I've paused when a dude says something that would seem completely innocuous to another dude but I'm there scanning for misogyny because I'm sitting on a lifetime of enduring cultural misogyny so I'm hypersensitive to it?

If you're not Muslim, you have no right to say that the Muslim woman who confronted Clinton was overreacting or wrong to confront her about her role in global Islamophobia. All of us who are not Muslim have a role in Islamophobia. We all have a responsibility. It's fucked up to attack a Palestinian Muslim woman for confronting a non-Muslim and non-Jewish white woman who probably should have stayed in her goddamn lane at a vigil to mourn the slaughter of Dweik's people. Even if Dweik was wrong, and I don't think she was, let her take out some of her grief on a rich, famous white woman from a massively powerful political family. Chelsea's very privileged and this confrontation could not possibly have harmed her in any substantial way.

At the very least, you should be reading the words of the students who confronted Chelsea, and I'll repeat that one of them was Jewish because people are conveniently leaving that out, on why they did what they did.

Opinion: We Confronted Chelsea Clinton At The Christchurch Vigil. Here's Why.

I also feel the need to say that Chelsea should know that "I'm sorry you feel that way, that wasn't my intention" is a classic shitty non-apology.

But mostly, every one of us who is not Muslim absolutely needs to FEEL how we contribute to Islamophobia. We need to be thinking about it and watching for it and when Muslim people tell us that we fucked up, we need to listen.

If your first instinct was to jump to the defense of the very privileged white woman at the expense of a Palestinian Muslim woman who now has to endure the assault of every Islamophobic asshole with a Twitter account, you need to think about how you contribute to the very same Islamophobia that killed those 50 people in New Zealand.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Gif of the Day



Minecraft Porygon pre-evolutions. Could it get any nerdier? But it's so cute!

Here's More Fascism!

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD MIGRANT PRISONS]


After I published the last post I found two more articles about appalling fascist shit happening and after this I may turn off the internet. Just kidding, I need Netflix food shows to keep me going.

Here we go.

US government uses several clandestine shelters to detain immigrant children

The federal government is relying on secret shelters to hold unaccompanied minors, in possible violation of the long-standing rules for the care of immigrant children, a Reveal investigation has found. 
The Office of Refugee Resettlement, the government agency that cares for unaccompanied minors, has never made the shelters’ existence public or even disclosed them to the minors’ own attorneys in a landmark class-action case. 
It remains unclear how many total sites are under operation, but there are at least five in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia, holding at least 16 boys and girls for the refugee agency, some as young as 9 years old.

If I find out they're doing experiments on these kids you'll see me on the news charging the closest child migrant detention center with a pick.

Also:

State Department bars press corps from Pompeo briefing, won't release list of attendees

That headline REALLY buries the lede. The real story here is that the only press allowed are those from "faith-based media" outlets.

The afternoon phone briefing was to discuss "international religious freedom" with the secretary -- who rarely participates in such calls -- ahead of his trip to the Middle East. One member of the State Department press corps was invited, only to be un-invited after RSVPing. That reporter was told that the call was for "faith-based media only."
CNN also RSVP'd to organizers, asking to be included, but received no reply.
Despite repeated inquires and complaints from members of the press corps who are based at the department, the State Department on Monday night said they would not be providing a transcript of the call, a list of faith-based media outlets who were allowed to participate or the criteria to be invited.
Officials would not answer questions about whether a range of faiths was included.

100% chance that "faith-based" here means "Christian" with the possibility of some pro-Zionist Jewish media being included but probably not. And I say pro-Zionist specifically because Jewish =/= Zionist.

This meeting is definitely about how to further fuck over Muslims and promote Christian supremacy. Religious zealotry and fascism often go hand-in-hand.

I don't even know anymore.

Here's Fascism!

So, human beings are still being detained at the border and fucked with by ICE all the live long day. Remember all that? That's still happening. Kids, too. Yeah.

And now, the two-Trump-judge Supreme Court has ruled that the U.S. government can arrest and detain indefinitely without a bond hearing even months or years AFTER they were already released. So, at any time, even if they've already been through ICE fuckery and been released because they're clearly not fucking MS-13, they can again be arrested and detained at any time and are still not subjected to a right to a speedy trial. They can be scooped up and locked away for basically forever. So, undocumented immigrants have to also deal with that now, on top of everything else.

This is another Supreme Court decision denying basic rights to undocumented migrants. And bigots will argue that they don't get constitutional rights because they're not from the U.S. I say that indefinite detention is widely recognized as a practice of a fascist/authoritarian nation, a key step in the path to genocide, is the kind of thing condemned by the U.N., and also that if we consider the Bill of Rights to be "inalienable" and really believe in them as good things essential to democracy and justice, then we should believe in them enough to extend them to those who enter our country, especially desperate people fleeing their war-torn, poverty-stricken home countries which are that way BECAUSE OF THE U.S.

How close do we need to creep toward the genocide of our nation's immigrants? Before something real is done?

Release all immigrants and then burn down every immigrant detention center.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gif of the Day


;)

2020 Challenger Lineup: Kamala Harris

[TRIGGER WARNING: WHOREPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, PRISON SLAVERY]

I've been waiting to profile Kamala Harris. The former California Attorney General has plenty of experience under her belt and is a multi-ethnic woman of color. However, she is weighed down (in the view of myself and people close to as far left as I am) for basically being a cop. She's been labeled a "top cop" by those who like cops. Others have attempted to label her a "progressive prosecutor." Other others have looked at her history and been like "um... not so progressive."

Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.

Let's look at her record.

Harris announced her campaign in late January on the platform of implementing the "largest middle class tax cut in a generation." I don't even know what the middle class is anymore but it's better than an upper class tax cut I guess.

As attorney general, Harris implemented the California Homeowner's Bill of Rights in response to the mortgage bubble burst that led to the Great Recession. She was able to get "$12 billion of debt reduction for the state's homeowners." She was also a force against predatory lending and created California's "Mortgage Fraud Strike Force," which manages to simultaneously sound boring and exciting. BUT she later declined to prosecute Steve Mnuchin's bank, and in 2016 received a $2000 campaign donation from Mnuchin. Hmmmmmmmm.

At the same time, there was a Supreme Court ruling that found California's prisons to be so overcrowded that they violated the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. The one about cruel and unusual punishment. Harris' handling of this was quite poor. She "fought federal court supervision" and generally resisted reform efforts until California had to be ordered to implement new parole programs. Then comes the worst part.

"Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool."

Ouch. OUCH. At the time, California's prisoners were being paid eight to 37 cents per hour for their work - a wage that definitely qualifies for the term "slave wage." In 2011, Harris fought prison reforms because the state of California would have lost a chunk of its slave labor and they didn't want to have to pay people minimum wage to make DMV furniture and fight California's wildfires. She also fought to criminalize truancy in schools. Literally making truancy a crime. This is what we call the school-to-prison pipeline.

In 2012 and 2014, Harris refused to take any position on criminal justice reform legislation.

Also in 2014, Harris fought efforts to secure gender affirmation surgery for a trans inmate until she was released on parole and it wasn't the state's responsibility anymore.

As California Attorney General, Harris also had a history of fighting for prosecutors accused of using false confessions and other shenanigans, by which I mean crimes, like perjury and withholding evidence.

On the positive side, Harris directed her office to investigate oil companies after an oil pipeline spill off the California coast. In 2016, she again went after oil companies for price fixing.

Back to the bad, let's talk about FOSTA/SESTA. Harris co-sponsored these bills and repeatedly went after Backpage, the shutting down of which has forced full service sex workers back onto the streets where they are far more likely to be assaulted and/or killed.

In the wake of the Harris announcement, more sex workers have spoken up in the media about the consequences of the legislation she sponsored. “It’s forcing me to go back the streets, walking up and down trying to find clients,” Melissa, an escort from Phoenix, told the Huffington Post. “Now I not only have to deal with the police, but now I’m forced to deal with tricks that know this bill is in effect, and trust me, they are taking full advantage of it by being more aggressive.” 
Another sex worker interviewed, Dii, said that people they know were “getting contacted by pimps and abusers more because they know we are desperate” due to the elimination of sites like CraigslistPersonals and Backpage that allowed sex workers to self-advertise.

I'm pretty sure all 2020 presidential candidates currently support and voted for FOSTA/SESTA. But as a co-sponsor, Harris seems less likely to ever be convinced that these bills were disasters for some of the most vulnerable people in our country.

As a U.S. Senator, Harris has been a force in fighting Trump's bullshit. No complaints in that respect.

Now let's look at her official positions as a presidential candidate.

Harris is pro-choice, pro-cannabis, pro-gun control, and against the death penalty. She supports the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and sanctuary cities. She is good on queer issues, aside from fighting against giving trans inmates necessary healthcare. She has committed to rejecting most PAC money, and she has fought for net neutrality. She has been critical of ICE but has not declared any desire to abolish it. She was a co-sponsor of the bill to withdraw U.S. troops from Yemen, though it appears she initially voted against this? She recently supported a bill that ends the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners.

She is also very much on the side of the Israeli government in the Israel/Palestine "conflict," opposing BDS and objecting to U.N. condemnation of Israel building settlements on Palestinian land, also known as ongoing genocidal efforts/apartheid. She even claimed that there is "anti-Israel bias" in the U.N.

As always, here is Kamala Harris' full voting record as a U.S. Senator. Most of it is literally her voting against Trump nominees. One thing that stands out to me is that she does not automatically vote in favor of defense authorizations acts like some politicians do. Her record appears consistent with her stated positions. Her official campaign website does not appear to have a section actually stating her positions on things, which seems ridiculous to me but whatever.

Overall, I suppose I give Kamala Harris a B-. She has some serious marks against her in the past which makes me not trust her. I mean, you all know that on principle, I don't trust cops. I really want to support this black woman running for president, but she has such a bad record on criminal justice. Black activists and scholars have argued that she has put far too many of her fellow black people in prison to be trusted. Others have said that she catches more criticism than other candidates because she is a black woman, which is almost certainly true.

My gut feeling is that she is another "tough on crime" Democrat who will pander to progressives and leftists for votes but if she made it into office, things like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal would soon become too complicated and get shelved because Harris is too busy dropping more drone bombs on children with severe PTSD.

What sucks is that it feels like we have to choose between white male progressive or black female centrist/neoliberal, or something in between. Because a black woman as progressive as Bernie Sanders would be attacked, well, about as much as people are attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez right now. People already target Harris for being a black and Indian woman. Taking "risky" political positions just piles onto that.

I really hope we can have President AOC one day.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Gif of the Day


Because this is needed today.

Fuck white supremacy.

Donate To Your Local Mosque Today

Today is the day of worship for your Muslim friends and neighbors. It's also likely a terrible day for them. They may be afraid to go to their mosque and worship peacefully as is their right. I think one of the best things non-Muslims, and particularly we white people, can do is to send a donation to our neighborhood mosques with a message of support, explaining that you are not Muslim but you are happy to have them in your community and you will defend their right to be there, because they are a part of your community. They are the neighbors who are out there doing so much charity work and raising money for other parts of the community when they need it. Let them know they are not alone.

You can also donate to the global fund to raise money for the families impacted by the shooting. It's already almost at its goal, though, so if they don't need money anymore by the time you get there, your local mosques are always doing great things and helping people, so your donation will be well-used.

As always, stand up against Islamophobia. Demand an end to hateful rhetoric that inspires white supremacist terrorists to murder. Shout back against those who promote and spread that hateful rhetoric (yes, I'm talking about PewDiePie because yes, this is partly his fault).

Don't be tricked into silence by the idea that this hateful, murderous monster did what he did to promote a "culture war" and therefore we should stop criticizing people like PewDiePie. There is already a war. So much blood has already been spilled. Allowing the spread of poisonous rhetoric is what got us here.

Don't try to interpret the impossible web of irony and meta shit in that monster's "manifesto." It's not worth it. Continue with what you know to be true - white supremacy and Islamophobia kills and therefore must be ended.

My Muslim neighbors, siblings, and friends have a right to be here and have a right to exist anywhere they want. They are an essential and wonderful part of my community and I will fight anyone who tries to hurt them.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Gif of the Day


I'm a little upset that in all my years as a pro-choice feminist, I never thought of this burn.

What Rape Culture?

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE/APOLOGIA]

You ever read a headline so awful it just takes the life right out of you? I feel like I could take a breath and unleash a sigh that lasted for an eternity and echoed into the corners of the universe and the vibration of it would shake loose the bonds of reality and all life would simply shatter at the atoms and I'd be glad for it.

Protests in Italy after men cleared of rape because woman ‘too masculine’ to be attractive


What exactly do we need to do to get it through the thick fucking skulls of assholes who for some reason get to have important jobs that rape has nothing to do with attraction? Why is the myth that rapists are just men who were overcome with desire so it's totally not their fault and they're the real victims of Hot Ladies still so pervasive? Do I need to crack open your actual skull, pry it apart and scream it directly into your brains?

In written notes on the case, they said they had drawn their conclusions from a photograph of the woman, and had taken into account the fact one of the defendants had registered her in his mobile under the nickname “Viking”.

And people still want to tell me that rape culture doesn't exist.

The only good news here is that this bullshit ruling was thrown out by a higher court and a retrial was ordered. But the rape culture ruling was made in 2017. For over a year, the victim had to live worrying that she would get no justice because some judges think she's ugly. What's even more baffling is that the three judges who made that shit ruling were all women. Never forget that women, especially privileged ones, are often eager to uphold rape culture as well. It's kind of sad but also can those judges be fucking fired right now? Immediately?

Rape culture is also pretty strong in Italy. And yes, it is because of the Catholic church. I'm not anti-religion but the Catholic church is s fucking disaster that Jesus would hate.

Jacob Wohl, Certified Twitter Asshole, Sent Death Threats To Himself

[TRIGGER WARNING: ISLAMOPHOBIA]

This is another thing you might have already heard about but how can I not blog about this? Well-known right-wing white supremacist, misogynist, and all-around big opinion-haver Jacob Wohl was recently kicked the fuck off Twitter for running fake accounts that he used to argue with himself. But that wasn't the best news.

Jacob Wohl Faked Death Threats Against Himself

Wohl and fellow provocateur Laura Loomer went to Minneapolis last month to “investigate” whether their quest to prove that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) married her own brother—a charge based on flimsy blog comments that has been disproven. 
Wohl’s videos to his fans were premised on the idea that Minneapolis is an incredibly dangerous place, and often featured him wearing a bulletproof vest. At one point in a new video about their trip, Wohl goes to a Minneapolis police station to report death threats he says he and his team have received since being in the city.

First of all, that is some rank Islamophobia. Second, really? Minneapolis? You were so scared going to Minneapolis that you wore a fucking bulletproof vest? What a wuss.

Thirdly, it turns out this "death threat" was sent by one of the fake accounts Wohl was banned for. So, he's going to get charged for filing a fake police report, right?

I can't tell you how vindicating this is as a vocal woman on the internet who has been sent real harassing and threatening messages and read countless accounts from other women about the most frightening and disgusting messages including explicit and detail rape and death threats only to be told by asshole dudes without evidence that they're definitely faked. First they demand evidence from us, and when we do oblige and provide screenshots of the messages, guess what they say next?

We must have sent those to ourselves. You know, for attention.

Have you ever heard about the defense mechanism known as projection? It's rampant among the right.

Any time I see some misogynistic fuck try to claim that a woman sent harassing messages to herself, I'm bringing this right up. It's also going to be so much nicer on Twitter without Jacob Wohl stinking it up with his shitty opinions.

Now ban Trump.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Gif of the Day


There are few things quite as cute as a fluffy morsel cuddling up right next to the mouth of a predator.

Johnny Depp Stans Don't Interact

UPDATE 3/14/19: In spite of my EXPLICIT WARNINGS, I still had some fuckoff leave a comment taking everything Johnny Depp is claiming at face value and calling Amber Heard a liar. Heard ALSO claims to have lots of evidence and witnesses and presented them in court already. Why do you automatically believe the man and not the woman? How can I get through to your fucking brain?


I'm pissed about this and I'm going to write about it but I'm going to say it now - angry emails and comments defending Johnny Depp based on nothing but a letter from his lawyer and hearsay will be insta-deleted. Don't @ me, etc.

So last night, Johnny Depp was suddenly trending on Twitter. My immediate reaction was "what the fuck did he do now," and this is what he did.

It has been reported that the Pirates Of The Caribbean star is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard for $50 million for defamation, after she alleged that he physically abused her during their marriage, according to documents obtained by The Blast on March 8.

Can you do that if the court case is already settled and you paid out? I mean I guess you can do anything if you're a rich white guy.

I don't know what the hell "The Blast" is. It looks like your run-of-the-mill celebrity gossip rag which I trust about as much as I trust Donald Trump. There's also some letter from his lawyer going around on Twitter in pieces with some parts underlined, likely with Microsoft Paint, because as we all know, that's how you make something super official and factual.

Listen. I'm perfectly aware that women can abuse men and that relationships can be mutually abusive. I'm willing to consider that Amber Heard may have hit Johnny Depp at some point or was even the primary abuser. What upsets me is how quickly so many people turned on Amber Heard because a lawyer wrote something on Depp's behalf saying "I didn't do it, she did!" and some rag is claiming to have a photo of Johnny Depp with a black eye, but instead it's a small bruise on the cheekbone area.

If it sounds like I'm skeptical it's only because this guy has a record of violent behavior going back to 1989 when he assaulted a security guard, long before he met Amber Heard. I'm also just pissed the fuck off that when Heard accused Depp of abuse, Twitter was full of people dripping skepticism or outright calling her a liar who just wanted attention and his money. Of course, most of the attention she got was incredibly negative thanks to all the people way too invested in their fandom of the guy who played the funny pirate, and she donated all the money she won from the case to domestic violence charities.

Now Johnny Depp is suing her for $50 million, claiming she was the abuser, and Twitter is flooded with people saying that anyone who called the man an abuser should be absolutely ashamed, that a simple apology is not enough, we DESTROYED his LIFE you guys, I mean he's still getting extremely high-profile work like the lead role in that Harry Potter spinoff and is still rich as fuck but PEOPLE SAID HE ABUSED AMBER HEARD HOLY SHIT WHAT COULD BE WORSE THAN THAT????

Seriously. The reaction has been fucking ri-di-cu-lous.

I get that it's hard when someone you were a fan of turns out to be an asshole. I was a big fan of Johnny Depp myself! His performance as Captain Jack Sparrow was iconic and there's no doubt he's an amazing actor. But can you please just do some self-examination and question why your reaction to Amber Heard's accusations was "eh she's probably lying for attention" while your reaction to the same accusation from Johnny Depp is "HIS LAWYER SAID IT SO IT'S DEFINITELY TRUE, ALL CRITICS OF JOHNNY DEPP MUST IMMEDIATELY FLOG THEMSELVES IN PENANCE."

First of all, chill. Second of all, you're a hypocrite who has been taken in by cultural misogyny that says women accusing men of abuse must be raked over the coals before we'll even consider believing them but we'll jump on the tiniest excuse to not while everything men say is immediately taken at face value.

Also, you're investing way too much of your sense of identity into a rich white man who doesn't know you, doesn't care about you, and will never do anything for you, and also has a long history of violence including attacking a crew member on set just last summer. He does not deserve the energy you're putting into defending him, but he is counting on it.

As news spread of gruesome images of the Oscar-nominated actor’s injuries and allegations against Amber, fans on Twitter rushed to apologize to Johnny for initially not believing his side of the story — and he’s beyond grateful for the support. “Johnny is overwhelmed by all the love and support he’s receiving from fans on Twitter,” a source shared with HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “He is finally feeling vindicated after years of looking like the ‘bad guy’ and not believing his side of the story. Johnny never wanted to put Amber in a position to look like the aggressor, but he finally had enough and needed to reveal his truth. The fact that fans are now beginning to believe his account of what happened feels incredible and he’s more determined than ever to continue fighting for justice and redeem his reputation.”

Right, Johnny, because you totally didn't have your fans sitting in your corner the whole time, reassuring you that you still get to continue being rich and famous and waiting for the slightest excuse to come out swinging on your behalf. But you got some negative press and that's just the worst thing in the world, isn't it? Because you're not a bad guy, even if you have a history of violent assault which is undisputed but largely ignored.

And I could go all into the realities of domestic violence in which abusers often accidentally injure themselves in their rages, and in which victims will sometimes fight back, or that even in mutually abusive situations there is usually a primary aggressor and it's usually the man, and also men are way more likely to severely injure or kill their partners in a man-woman relationship. But I'm getting real tired of having to explain that to people who are way more invested in defending their fragile celebrity-based identities than facing reality.

So if that's your situation, don't comment. But also if that is your situation, you won't acknowledge it. Just know that rabid Johnny Depp defense will be deleted without being fully read because I'm too tired for your unoriginal bullshit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gif of the Day


Gifs you can only find on Tumblr.

My Sexuality is AOC Shitting on Reagan's Legacy

Don't kink shame me.

Yesterday, some people got super upset that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reminded everyone that Ronald Reagan was a super racist asshole and once again attempted to attack her intelligence only to be sent packing by a woman of color who knows what the fuck she's talking about.




Some dude named Ryan tried to pull the same thing:


But my favorite part is not people responding directly to Ryan, but the people responding to the incredibly boring ableist, racist, and misogynistic (not to mention embarrassing) "memes" about AOC by actually being funny.
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I never get tired of right-wingers trying to be funny, failing miserably, and then getting dunked on by people who are way funnier than them.

Fuck Tucker, Tucker Sucks

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD RAPE, CHILD MARRIAGE, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE]

I am actually sorry about the George Carlin reference. But every time I hear about Tucker Carlson, I think about that one bit he did about names like Tucker where he specifically says "fuck Tucker, Tucker sucks."

There are a lot of reasons Tucker should never have been allowed on TV, except I guess on the news being arrested in a child trafficking sting, but since we're letting all kinds of horrible people even into the fucking White House now, I at least thought maybe the general public would have rejected a dude with such a goofy fucking name.

Anyway, you've probably heard that 10 years ago, Tucker went on some shock jock radio show and managed to shock the shock jocks by defending Warren Jeffs. I had the displeasure of learning all about Warren Jeffs for the article I had to write on this shit for my actual job (fuck), and here's the rundown.

He was a Christian extremist in Utah who was such a fan of marrying underage girls to grown men that he kept doing it after being arrested for it and after landing on the FBI Top Most Wanted list. He had two underage "wives" himself, one who was 12. He was accused by two of his nephews of anal rape. One of the victims was 5 or 6 at the time of the rape, and the other killed himself shortly after making the accusation. Also Jeffs definitely did that, I mean I say "accused" to point out that he wasn't convicted for that but the man was such a raging pedophile that he kept marrying off underage girls even after the FBI was like "fuck this dude, we're gonna fuck him up."

I've also heard that there is literally audio of Jeffs assaulting an underage girl but my psyche can only take so much, you know?

So yeah, Tucker went on the fucking radio show and defended Jeffs, saying that he wasn't a child rapist, he was just "weird" and had an unusual "lifestyle" that people found "creepy."

No, Tucker. He was a rapist and everyone hates him but you.

I'm going to reiterate here my belief that anyone putting that much effort into defending rapists has a very personal reason for doing it. I mean, sure, Fox News better fire him, and I've heard they have to have an emergency meeting tomorrow to beg their advertisers not to punt them the fuck into the dumpster, but also dear FBI. Do you take requests?

I feel the need to write this blog post not because this shit isn't being covered elsewhere, but because the way I see it covered and the way people are talking about it disturbs me to my core. People are focusing on the least offensive parts of the leaked audio. We already knew that Tucker was a giant gross misogynistic pimple and we all assumed he called women cunts on a daily. It's not okay and he should be fired for just that, but can we focus on the child rape part? The human trafficking? The child brides? Hello?

Even when they do focus on that, again news media is using "sexual assault" to describe something that is RAPE. These men married to the underage girls definitely raped them. You think they kept it to something more minor? No, men like that want to marry underage girls because they're pedophiles looking for a way out of their guilt.

But apparently, if you have the phrase "child rape" in your headline, Facebook is probably going to come after you and possibly demonetize your posts. Oh, now it makes sense.

FUCK CAPITALISM. CAPITALISM SUCKS.

Capitalism is making people gloss over the actual rape of children. Fan-fucking-tastic. Fuck Facebook, fuck capitalism, fire Tucker out of a cannon into the sun.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Gif of the Day


I could watch this all day.

2020 Challenger Lineup: Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang is a growing name in the crowded field of people vying for the Democratic 2020 nomination. He first officially declared his candidacy in November of 2017. Nobody noticed, but by pressing his message of Universal Basic Income, he's made it onto the national radar.

For those who don't know, Universal Basic Income or UBI is the idea that all adult citizens should be given a set amount of money each month by the government. Andrew Yang is putting that income at $1,000 per month. UBI has been tested in various parts of the world and the findings are pretty consistent - the vast majority of people keep working while students and new parents are able to quit to focus on more important things.

The entire idea is that in nations as wealthy as the U.S., people shouldn't ever have to experience homelessness or be unable to afford basics like food and medicine. A basic income frees people from so much stress and allows them to focus on improving their education, taking care of their families, and everything else we would all do if we weren't essentially forced into work we often hate and work that is bad for us in order to survive.

Andrew Yang focuses on the specter of automation to promote UBI, which I personally think is ill-advised. Automation will happen and jobs will change, and some will disappear, but changes like this have happened before and the jobs simply change with it. I would rather fight for UBI on the basis that it's morally wrong to spend billions and billions on the military and refuse to tax big corporations like Amazon while people go hungry in the streets, and the best way to fight poverty is just to give people money. Fuck the guaranteed job. Definitely launch infrastructure repair projects and offer good paying jobs to the community but many people are not able to work these kinds of physical labor jobs.

Still, Yang's support of UBI likely makes him the furthest left candidate. The question is whether the U.S. is anywhere near ready for UBI. But let's look at his other positions.

On his campaign website, his top three policy issues are UBI, Medicare for All, and something called "human-centered capitalism."

Ohhhhh so close.

Obviously, I believe that capitalism is inherently oppressive and destructive. But I also know that a U.S. president who is explicitly anti-capitalist is too much to ask. Yang's ideas on this form of capitalism are interesting, even if I believe that capitalism can't be reined in no matter how hard we try.

We need to move to a new form of capitalism – Human Capitalism – that’s geared towards maximizing human well-being and fulfillment. The central tenets of Human Capitalism are:
  1. Humans are more important than money
  1. The unit of a Human Capitalism economy is each person, not each dollar
  1. Markets exist to serve our common goals and values

It's a start. This "human capitalism" contains a lot of the morals of socialism, including the ideas that unpaid labor often done by women matters, creative pursuits are good and not a waste of time, substance abuse is related to despair, mental health matters, etc. It's a big step in the right direction.

Below these three main platforms, Yang has a very long list of topics to click on, which is great but I don't have time to look at everything. So I'm just gonna talk about the things that send up flags for me.

"Reduce mass incarceration"? Try ending it. The "mass" part of "mass incarceration" is supposed to be bad.

"Pathway to Citizenship (Make Them Earn It)" Ugh. I hate the "make them earn it" language as though people should have to jump through hoops to prove they deserve to live. He also includes language about "securing the southern border" which implies that all those asylum seekers are a hostile, invading force. Booooo.

Make Puerto Rico a State - Very good. This is a rare position, I think.

Something called a Value Added Tax that allegedly makes it impossible for corporations like Amazon to avoid paying taxes by hiding their assets off seas and other bullshit. Cool!

American Journalism Fellows? $100,000 per year? I would never get one of those.

News and Information Ombudsman?? Apparently it means a division of government dedicated to combatting fake news. So much government involved in journalism makes me nervous.

"Reduce Harm to Children Caused by Smartphones." Kind of some conspiracy theory shit, Yang.

American Exchange Program - Like a foreign exchange program, but sending city kids to rural areas within the U.S. How... unusual.

Free Marriage Counseling For All - Can we all get free counseling though? Why only married people about their marriage?

Prosperity Grant - The government gives every adult an extra $100 per year that they have to donate to a non-profit. Again, kinda weird? But I guess cool?

Free Financial Counseling for All - YES PLEASE OMG.

Make Community College Affordable for All - Okay other Democrats are on board for free community college AT LEAST so uh get on board the free college train, Yang. Are you progressive or not?

Modernize Military Spending - This is where the word "reduce" should come into play.

American Mall Act - He wants to revitalize malls. Really?

Making Taxes Fun - Huh??? Oh, he wants to make Tax Day a federal holiday. Okay, sure. Also, we get to choose what 1% of our taxes go to. Kinda cool.

Andrew Yang has no direct political experience. He was the CEO of a test prep company and then founded a non-profit fellowship program.

I'd say that this guy has zero chance to win in 2020, but I guess stranger things have happened. Although getting elected with no experience seems to be an exclusively Republican thing. Democrats can't seem to get away with that shit. Still, it's very unlikely. If he can get enough attention, he may bring some legitimacy to the idea of UBI, which would make me very happy. Otherwise, his positions paint a picture of someone not necessarily more leftist than other Democratic candidates. Many of his positions are just kind of weird or even kind of right-wing.

I don't even feel like it's worth giving him a grade. He's not a viable candidate, but I would encourage everyone to boost his messages about UBI and help bring him national attention. Maybe we can even get one of the viable candidates to support the idea of UBI.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gif of the Day


Today is a good day to revive one of the best things I've ever created in my entire life.

Sometimes I honestly miss the days where MRA whining about misandry was a big thing. We had some fun. Now they've mostly transitioned to being full nazis and nothing is funny about that. Except when they get punched in the face, of course.

Okay now I want to find the original gif and put Richard Spencer's face over Homer's.

Give Your Money To Women

Today's a great day to remind everyone, especially men, that all this labor I do to deliver information and perspective based on my expertise is done free of charge. If you think I've seen even a single dollar from the Disqus ads, you are extremely wrong. There was a point at which I was hoping all the troll commenters would get me past the threshold for payout, but they've largely disappeared, so that will probably never happen.

Anyway, buy me a fucking coffee or something.

paypal.me/LWeedston

If you'd rather give your money to black women, trans women, sex workers, or other women more marginalized than I am, that's absolutely fine. Just take the time to hop on Twitter and go through the Happy International Women tag, where plenty of ladies are posting their donation links. Just give your money to women. The Democratic Party doesn't actually need another $5 from you. Give it to women.

Happy International Women's Day

[TRIGGER WARNING: WHOREPHOBIA, MENTION OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING]

Or, if you're on Twitter, because Twitter can't register apostrophes in its trending shit, Happy International Women!

I'm definitely sick today, which confirms that the rhinovirus is misogynistic.

Anyway, let's talk about some of the women we hear the least about. Sex workers. At what point are sex workers finally going to be allowed a platform, and when is effectively protecting them going to even get onto the radar of U.S. politicians?

According to Rolling Stone, possibly 2020.

Sex-Work Decriminalization Is Becoming an Issue For 2020

244 years late is better than never, I guess.

I want to stress that there is only one way to effectively protect sex workers from the dangers and massive amounts of harm they've been subjected to by being made illegal by the state. And that is full legalization of all sex work. That is the only way to protect full-service sex workers and the only path to destigmatization for the rest.

How do I know this? I listen to sex workers.

All the current 2020 Democratic presidential candidates voted in favor of FOSTA/SESTA, believing or stating that they believed it would combat human trafficking. They ignored pleas from actual or former sex workers who said that it would force them back onto the streets, where they are much more likely to be harmed or killed. After it was passed, reports began to come out of sex worker communities of full-service sex workers being assaulted, raped, killed, or disappearing.

For many, this was the last straw. Today, we're seeing an increasing number of public rallies to support sex workers and full sex work legalization.

Although the bill may have contributed to sex work being driven underground, Sage believes that it had the unintended effect of bringing sex workers’ rights to the mainstream. “I think that in the wake of FOSTA-SESTA, sex workers have mobilized and organized in ways that are unprecedented,” she said. “Such organizing is changing the national discourse around sex workers and pushing sex workers right onto the center stage. As a result, major publications are now printing stories about the impact of harmful legislation on sex work communities, and are also publishing pieces by sex worker writers themselves. This will make it very difficult for candidates to ignore addressing sex worker issues as they campaign.”

If you really want to be a supporter of women, one of the best things you can do today is to join sex worker advocacy groups. In fact, I came across this Rolling Stone article thanks to the SWOP Seattle Facebook page. There are all kinds of groups like this, and simply following can expose you to all kinds of information that you need in order to be an effective ally.

Sex workers are more likely than any other women to suffer violence. It's time to stop ignoring them, stop thinking we know what's best for them more than they do, and to fight for what they've been telling us will work for decades. Sex work is not human trafficking and human trafficking is not sex work. Legalize all forms of sex work now.