Friday, January 31, 2020

Gif of the Day

Shoutout to the slightly cross-eyed cat from The Fifth Element.

Get Ready To Hate The DNC Again

Oh my god okay it's not even February yet and I'm already having 2016 flashbacks in terms of DNC fuckery. At least this time we knew to expect them coming after Bernie. I think this is part of the reason why I kind of wanted to support Warren for a while because I knew she was viewed as less of a threat but now she's behind in the polls and ughhhh this shit:

DNC members discuss rules change to stop Sanders at convention

In conversations on the sidelines of a DNC executive committee meeting and in telephone calls and texts in recent days, about a half-dozen members have discussed the possibility of a policy reversal to ensure that so-called superdelegates can vote on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Such a move would increase the influence of DNC members, members of Congress and other top party officials, who now must wait until the second ballot to have their say if the convention is contested.

Even if you don't support Bernie, this sucks. Giving more power to DNC members and Congress means less power for you, the actual voter, who is supposed to be the one choosing the next president. This is an attack on democracy and this is why superdelegates are fucked up and this is why we need to abolish the entire electoral college system.

The only good news is that this is a small group thus far and they're saying that what they want to do would be difficult. But let's go ahead and get up in arms about it now because I am not sitting through another round of nomination theft. We're watching you, assholes.

But wait, there's more!

DNC overhauls debate requirements, opening door for Bloomberg

The Democratic National Committee is drastically revising its criteria to participate in primary debates after New Hampshire, doubling the polling threshold and eliminating the individual donor requirement, which could pave the way for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to make the stage beginning in mid-February.

Okay cool so when your shitty rules were causing candidates of color to drop like flies you were like "them's the rules" but now that a white cis straight male Christian billionaire wants on the debate stage, it's time for a change!

This is why Republicans keep getting elected. Because you, the Democratic party, make everyone FUCKING HATE YOU.

Complaining about the Senate impeachment trial and Republicans breaking rules and shifting the goal posts when you're pulling this shit, fucking hypocritical fuckwads.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Gif of the Day

There's something inherently funny about bee attacks on TV. Also I love The Good Place.

Bernie Sanders vs. Elizabeth Warren: Impressions

I've gotten a lot done on the comparison spreadsheet. I got through everything on Bernie's campaign website and more, though I still need to get through some of Liz's positions because she seriously has sooooooooo many. I should at least be done with policy positions by Monday, when the first primary polls close. I also wanted to compare their actual voting records, plus I still need to organize the thing properly and maybe split them into sections. It's quite a project.

The most important thing, I think, is the impressions I've gotten from making this thing. Part of the reason I wanted to do it was to help me make a decision myself on who to support. I've been leaning pretty heavily toward Bernie and this has really solidified that position.

Bernie Sanders definitely seems to be, in general, further left than Elizabeth Warren. There are some minor areas where she seems like she could be a little more lefty than Bernie, but overall, the Bernster out-lefts Liz most of the time.

At the same time, Liz has consistently outlined more specifics into her plans and positions on the issues. Her reputation as the plan lady is well-earned. That's why many of her boxes are longer than Bernies'. This may be a point in her favor, depending on your perspective. It's also worth saying that just because a position or more information on a position isn't on Bernie's campaign website doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It might just mean that Liz's campaign team put more effort into her website than Bernie's did into his, which generally seems to be true. Liz's even has a search function, which has come in handy.

I have appreciated how both candidates have brought up how many issues specifically affect marginalized populations. Both addressed things like environmental racism, income inequality for women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, and spent a good amount of time specifically addressing how they will treat Native Americans. There was a lot of "this thing is bad for everyone, but worse for this oppressed group in particular." Good stuff.

I was especially impressed that Warren specifically noted the epidemic of murders of trans women of color, including a list of names.

What really decides it for me is that Warren has specifically called herself a capitalist, while Sanders, though I don't consider him to be a real socialist, at least calls himself a Democratic Socialist. I want to make the idea that socialism is actually good more mainstream and get this ridiculous country over its red scare, if possible. I don't see that happening with Warren, who has already signaled willingness to compromise some of her most leftist positions.

Anyway, I'm going to keep working on this for the benefit of those who are still on the fence and might be confused about all the contradictory information that's been pushed by avid supporters of either. I've opened the spreadsheet up to comments, so if you see something you think is incorrect, have suggestions, or want to make a request for a specific issue I might have missed, please do!

I have to admit, I'm excited to see the first results of the primaries. I really hope Joe Biden doesn't turn out to be the frontrunner. It would be amazing if it was between Bernie and Liz. And I honestly can't wait for Yang supporters to SHUT UP.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Gif of the Day

I can't tell if this is on fast-forward or not.

WA State Republican Congressman Is Literally A Domestic Terrorist

So over here in Washington State, one of our representatives for the fucking federal government is actually a domestic terrorist. Trump has his base all riled up about refugees and asylum seekers who are less likely to hurt anybody than a U.S. citizen, actual fascists want you to think that antifa are terrorists, and people have the nerve to call the leader of another country's military a terrorist. But will Representative Matt Shea face any consequences for LITERALLY BEING A DOMESTIC TERRORIST?

That's a long list of evidence there in that report concluding that Rep. Matt Shea, Republican congressman, is a domestic terrorist.

Yet instead of like uhhhhhh arresting him for the crime of domestic terrorism like anybody who wasn't a rich powerful white man would be, the only consequences he's seen were to be suspended from the Republican caucus, resulting in him losing his office (the room, not his position as a lawmaker) and his committee assignments. Meanwhile, other Republicans have called for his reinstatement.

For example, the Grays Harbor Republican Party passed a resolution accusing one co-author of the Shea report of being “a far left socialist democrat contributor and Marxist …” The resolution called Shea “a great representative” and requested his reinstatement.

Gotta love that sweet American justice.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gif of the Day

When someone tries to insult you for being fat but you know that being fat is awesome.

Bernie Sanders vs. Elizabeth Warren: Progress

No, it's not done yet. But I thought I would share what I have so far.

Some notes: Most of the information is taken straight from each candidates' campaign websites, while anything linked is taken from a different source. The info provided on each issue is distilled way down from typically long pages of information and explanation and is neither perfect nor done without bias because I'm a human being. I encourage you to do deeper reading into the candidates' positions on issues that matter the most to you.

I'll be working on this more today.

Bernie Sanders vs. Elizabeth Warren comparison spreadsheet.

I currently have this set so people can view but not edit through that link. If you want to help, definitely let me know and I'll be happy to grant you access as long as you're not an obvious troll!

The first primary votes are due next Monday, February 3rd. Make sure you figure out who you want to be president and vote for them to face off against Trump in November. Here's a handy guide to when primaries/caucuses are scheduled in each state.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Gif of the Day

This may be the most tender inter-species cuddle I've ever seen.

On Joe Rogan's Endorsement Of Bernie Sanders

If you're paying attention to this kind of shit, you probably already know that Joe Rogan kinda sorta endorsed Bernie Sanders, saying on his show that he would "probably" vote for Sanders. The Sanders Twitter account then tweeted a video of the part of the show in which Rogan said this, also quoting him in text, which was widely interpreted as an acceptance of this endorsement.

Up front I'm gonna say that I do not like Joe Rogan. I think he's a perfect representative of the privileged cis straight able-bodied white dude who is mad that he can't throw around slurs and generally be a piece of shit without consequences anymore, but he also has a lot of money so he made a radio show about it. I blame him for having to hear my own brother say the phrase "social justice warriors" in that snotty tone and for introducing him favorably to fucking Jordan Peterson. I have been worried that my brother would be drawn into white nationalism because of Joe Rogan, because that seems to be what Joe Rogan does, knowingly or not.

People's issues with Rogan go far beyond the fact that, as some Bernie worshippers have tried to claim, saying a couple problematic things in the past. He is misogynistic, racist, transphobic, rankly ableist and fatphobic, and spreads all of this to his millions of loyal listeners. In my view, he is a shitty bigot who has occasionally had a decent thought pass through his brain. But more than that, he is a dangerous public figure who functions as a gateway to the "alt-right" and the fascism and white supremacy beyond.

Does this mean I won't be supporting Bernie anymore? No, it doesn't mean that. It does mean I don't want to support him, which is the same thing I felt back when Bernie went on Joe Rogan's show last summer. I feel like people didn't get as upset about Bernie's friendliness with Rogan back then, but that is perhaps because the primaries are about to begin and Bernie is now very clearly at the front of the pack with Biden.

There is one point that Bernie supporters have made about this that I think is a good one -- that it is just as bad or worse that Elizabeth Warren accepted the endorsement of the New York Times, or half of it, or whatever. They rightly point out that although no one blinks at a New York Times endorsement, the news giant is a neoliberal beacon that has supported imperialism and other policies that have killed more people and caused more suffering than Joe Rogan ever could, hopefully.

Though the NYT may not be as overtly shitty as Rogan, they have more influence and in a more subtle way have likely done more damage. I also feel like the split Warren/Klobuchar endorsement seems sexist. Like, Bernie and Warren have a lot more in common than Warren and Klobuchar. Liz and Amy aren't interchangeable because they're women, NYT.

Rogan has also claimed that Warren, along with most other Democratic candidates, sought to be on his show. I don't trust Rogan, but Warren's camp has neither confirmed nor denied this. As far as I can tell, they haven't commented on the Rogan endorsement at all, which I find curious.

Some people have tried to claim, or seemed to vocally hope, that Sanders was simply unaware of Rogan's shittiness. I don't buy that for a minute. Rogan is a famous man well-known for being basically South Park incarnate and Sanders' campaign managers undoubtedly held meetings to decide whether he would go on Rogan's show and whether they would accept his endorsement. If they didn't totally suck at their jobs, they weighed the benefits of gaining some of Rogan's fans against the possibility of losing some people who Rogan has harmed.

We know what he chose. That's just the reality of it. As usual, my plea to people is not to support or reject Bernie but to LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE if they're angry or publicly deciding not to support Bernie because of this. Bernie Sanders accepted that he would lose a certain number of trans people, women, people of color, disabled people, fat people, etc. You should, too.

You're not going to get anywhere yelling at hurt marginalized people that they shouldn't be feeling hurt, no matter what Bernie has done to try and help them in the past. And more importantly, you're an asshole for doing so. They have a right to their anger and their hurt. Neither you nor Bernie has a right to their support.

I know many people feel that the ends justify the means. I have in the past felt strongly that if we can't save ourselves without hurting those already in the most pain, we don't deserve to survive. Right now I just feel tired.

Just 10 months and four days until November.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Gif of the Day

When you're coming out of an existential crisis.

Want To Make A Difference In The 2020 Election? Primaries and Caucuses Time

Do you not live in a swing state? Are you annoyed by feeling like your vote doesn't really count because your state's electoral college is already decided? Do you live in a swing state but want to have more of a say in who you get to vote for in November?

It's a great year to participate in primaries and caucuses!

There are still several Democratic candidates for president and early voting in some states has already started. State primaries/caucuses will decide which of these candidates goes up against Trump in November. There are many different opinion about which candidate is the most likely to defeat Trump and which will be the best for the country in the long term. This post is not about that. I just want as many people as possible to participate in this very important part of the process of electing the U.S. president.

Because this country is a mess, every state does things a little bit differently, and things can change year to year. For example, Washington State just switched from a caucus system to a simple primary vote, to take place in March.

Unlike a direct comparison spreadsheet between Bernie and Liz, which I am still working on, there are already guides out there for voting for your preferred Democratic presidential candidate. The AARP has a great one on when the primaries/caucuses happen in each state. For those who can't access that, here's a simplified list I stole from them:

  • Alabama — March 3
  • Alaska — April 4 (D)
  • Arizona — March 17 (D)
  • Arkansas — March 3
  • California — March 3
  • Colorado — March 3
  • Connecticut — April 28
  • Delaware — April 28
  • District of Columbia — June 2
  • Florida — March 17
  • Georgia — March 24
  • Hawaii — April 4 (D) - Caucus
  • Idaho — March 10
  • Illinois — March 17
  • Indiana — May 5
  • Iowa — Feb. 3 - Caucus
  • Kansas — May 2 (D)
  • Kentucky — May 19 (D); March 21 (R) Caucus
  • Louisiana — April 4
  • Maine — March 3
  • Maryland — April 28
  • Massachusetts — March 3
  • Michigan — March 10
  • Minnesota — March 3
  • Mississippi — March 10
  • Missouri — March 10
  • Montana — June 2
  • Nebraska — May 12
  • Nevada — Feb. 22 (D) - Caucus
  • New Hampshire — Feb. 11
  • New Jersey — June 2
  • New Mexico — June 2
  • New York — April 28
  • North Carolina — March 3
  • North Dakota — March 10 (D) - Caucus
  • Ohio — March 17
  • Oklahoma — March 3
  • Oregon — May 19
  • Pennsylvania — April 28
  • Rhode Island — April 28
  • South Carolina — Feb. 29 (D)
  • South Dakota — June 2
  • Tennessee — March 3
  • Texas — March 3
  • Utah — March 3
  • Vermont — March 3
  • Virginia — March 3 (D)
  • Washington — March 10
  • West Virginia — May 12
  • Wisconsin — April 7
  • Wyoming — April 4 (D)-Caucus; TBD-Caucus

I can't find a guide that outlines the process for every state's primary or caucus, but if your state does a caucus, I recommend looking up instructions for where to go and what you'll need to bring and do to participate. I did it once and it was a lot more complicated than just voting. We had to travel to a nearby school and follow the instructions there to sign in, find out what group we were in, fill out forms, then we were given time to debate and discuss within our groups, then assign a group leader to deliver our individual votes for our preferred candidate.

It took hours. I'm glad we're just doing a primary vote this year. But try to do it anyway if your state is doing a caucus because not very many people participate. Your voice will have a much bigger impact in a caucus than in the November national election.

Enjoy our country's messed up and disjointed electoral system!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Gif of the Day

Never let me near something like this. Just the gif has me wanting to lick that molten metal.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Gif of the Day

I forget what this Pokemon is called but somebody did this and I just want to eat one, maybe just a nibble?

Trump Administration To Expand "Travel Ban"

Hey. Remember when Trump instituted a Muslim ban and we all freaked out? But now the Overton window has shifted so dramatically because we weren't able to stop it and everyone's focused on the massive sham circus that is the Senate impeachment trial?

Well the so-called "travel ban" is not only still a thing, but Trump's gonna expand it to include seven other mystery countries and basically create a partial immigration ban.

Unlike the travel restrictions currently in place, the new rules could limit certain immigrant visas from the additional countries, said a US government official — essentially creating a partial immigration ban. 
Not all of the restrictions are uniform, said the official, adding that the proposal limits some immigrant visas from one country and other visas from another.

The new ban is "still under review" and apparently there's fuck all we can do about it. Trump won't say which countries will be added but I bet they're full of a certain type of people, I do.

Meanwhile the U.S. continues to lock away tens of thousands of migrants every month, banking a total of 851,508 "apprehensions" in the fiscal year 2019. Only 126,001 were deemed "inadmissible." It continues to be very difficult to figure out how many people are currently detained.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Gif of the Day

I cannot figure out what the fuck that is on his head.

Afternoon Announcements

So I'm currently working on an extensive spreadsheet directly comparing the policy positions and records of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in order to help people make their decisions in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. It's taking longer than expected because between the two of them they have about a billion positions laid out on their respective campaign websites, not to mention all of Warren's plans, plus I'm trying to go deeper on the important issues to make sure what they say on their websites appears to be accurate.

I'm going to be plugging away at this I'm guessing for the rest of the week. I'll do my best to blog some but today I really need a nap. Being right all the time is exhausting, you know.

Oh, but I do have a quick feeling to express about Hillary Clinton trashing Bernie and refusing to say she'll support him if he turns out to be the nominee:

Have a nice day everyone except Hillary Clinton!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Gif of the Day

People calling Rey a Mary Sue because she's too good of a Jedi apparently forgot Luke Supermanning the fuck out of this pit.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Gif of the Day


Oakland Police Evict Black Mothers With Riot Gear And Armored Vehicles

What a great country we have, full of so much freedom and people being allowed to live without being oppressed by big mean oppressive governments hahahahaha I'm just kidding.

Cops in Riot Gear Evict Homeless Mothers From Vacant House

So these four black homeless mothers have been engaging in civil disobedience, protesting aggressive eviction practices and gentrification by occupying a vacant house that was bought up by a house-flipping company. You know, those assholes who snatch up all the affordable places to live and makes them expensive and sells them to my fellow white people. And by "occupying," I mean fixing up the place themselves and paying the bills and living there with their children who would have been homeless otherwise.

So police came in armored vehicles that are basically tanks and riot gear and bashed down their door with a battering ram and arrested two of them, along with two protesters that had come to be like "hey maybe don't force these people to be homeless again to benefit the rich."

The video of the whole affair is horrifying and deeply, deeply American.

The women have thankfully been released on bail thanks to funds raised by decent human beings. But this country is an absolute atrocity and I don't understand why so many of us think it's right to throw mothers and children out onto the street because rich people are allowed to buy up all the houses and leave them empty for obscene profits.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Gif of the Day

I have no idea what this is about.

Guest Post: America’s Criminal Justice System Sets Criminals up to Fail. What Can We Do About It?

Kate Harveston is a political writer from Pennsylvania. Her favorite topics are feminist-focused, but she writes on a wide variety of social and cultural issues. If you enjoy her work, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

Lots of modern politicians rally their voters under the banner of “law and order.” But there’s nothing especially novel about electing tough-on-crime strongmen. According to the National Research Council’s “The Growth of Incarceration in the United States”, the American prison population was stable between the 1920s and the early to mid-1970s.
After that, public discourse and policy took a punitive turn, resulting in the number of prisoners more than quadrupling over the next 40 years. America’s current penal community is 2.2 million strong, which is one-quarter of the world’s prisoners and an incarceration rate as much as 10 times higher than other democracies.
Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as many as 68% of prisoners get re-arrested within three years of being released. Around 83% of prisoners recidivate within nine years of their release.
These figures are disquieting on their own, but they’re only part of the story. Someone who didn’t know better might suspect that the design of America’s criminal justice system in its current form purposely generates new prisoners and recidivists — not rehabilitates them.
How Did America Get This Way?
In the 1970s and '80s, American politicians found they could score easy points with voters by promising “deterrents,” rather than measures that would tackle the root causes of crime: income inequality, mental illness and drug abuse. Maybe we should call this the “Batman moment.” We started choosing our leaders by how many poor, mentally ill, minority and forgotten citizens they could punish, rather than by the number they could lift out of poverty and struggle.
One of the policies birthed by “tough-on-crime” culture was so-called “truth in sentencing” laws. In the early '80s, the federal government practically threw grant money at states in exchange for passing these laws, which ensured that prisoners served the full measure of their sentence — no matter what.
Another jaw of what some call “the recidivism trap” is the lack of rehabilitative opportunities for inmates once the prison system has subsumed them. We know that attaining education, social bonds, employment opportunities and other connections to people and institutions has a close link with moderating criminal behavior.
After leaving prison, a person who’s gone without treatment for their underlying mental health and addiction issues, if any, and whose station in society remains unchanged from the day they were arrested, has two roads in front of them. One leads to gainful employment and rehabilitation and the other to new crimes and more prison time. We aren’t doing enough to make the first road a realistic option for those who’ve already paid their debts.
Many of America’s Prisoners Are Not Criminals
Worse, we tend to cull this massive and growing prison population from the most disadvantaged communities in America. Those suffering from mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders frequently find themselves at the mercy of the arrest-incarceration and re-arrest-and-reincarceration cycle because they get treated like criminals, rather than victims of disease or environment.
It is also a very poorly kept secret that the reason for escalating the war on crime and drugs in the first place — most notably by the Nixon administration — was to criminalize the black and anti-war communities. Nixon’s advisers have been explicit about this point since.
America is now hearing calls from far and wide to expunge its rosters of low-level drug offenses. Doing so would go a long way toward healing some of the damage wrought by cynical law-and-order presidents and senators.
In a report called “How Many Americans Are Unnecessarily Incarcerated?” the Brennan Center for Justice explained why it believes 39% of the American prison population shouldn’t be there. Their research found what they called “little public safety rationale” behind their sentences. A significant portion of these 576,000 individuals have already served lengthy sentences or are low-level, non-violent offenders.
The latter, argues the Brennan Center, would be far better off receiving treatment, probation, community service and other methods for re-assimilation than with prison sentences. Moreover, returning them to society would free up $20 billion per year, which is enough to hire hundreds of thousands of schoolteachers or probation officers.
How Can We Fix This?
Criminal justice reform is a popular topic among politicians and voters all along the political spectrum. But what forms should it take?
One immediate step is to abolish private prisons. The concept is ethically horrifying to begin with, but it’s also resulted in the assembly of one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country.
For-profit prisons hold 8.2% of the U.S. inmate population today, after peaking in 2012. Even so, they have a grossly disproportionate amount of influence on sentencing laws. Private prisons earn $3.3 billion per year off the backs of inmates and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time getting tough-on-crime politicians elected. Bunks get filled and pockets get lined, and our laws stay harsh.
Addressing that harshness of the law is step two. The Brennan Center advocates for eliminating prison sentences for low-level crimes, except in highly unusual circumstances, and making prison sentences more proportional to the crime committed.
There are plenty of other changes to make, too. Some states do not allow past convictions to weigh on your case if you find yourself in court a second time, but this isn’t true everywhere. It’s enough of a problem that The Marshall Project calls it out directly in their steps for reducing recidivism. Doing so requires that we acknowledge “desistance behaviors,” which provide a “social context” for crimes, rather than a binary choice.
In other words, if a person who committed a violent crime in the past later gets arrested for shoplifting, they are exhibiting desistance — or an attempt to become more law-abiding. The United States needs a desistance-minded approach to addressing and preventing crime. A compassionate, rather than punitive, attitude toward low-level criminals.
We also need to stop disproportionately arresting people of color. Full stop. The racial disparities in the American penal system have an outsized impact on communities of color. Communities known for crime tend to stay that way, despite our myths about second chances and upward mobility.
A report to the United Nations about racism in America’s justice system found that people of color are more likely to get arrested, convicted and sentenced to harsh prison sentences than white people. The same has been true for generations. Denying it’s a problem, or that it contributes to recidivism, makes you part of the problem.
What Are Prisons For?
There is rare bipartisan support for overhauling the justice system in America. Getting it right means asking ourselves what prisons are supposed to accomplish in the first place. They’re, first of all, meant to keep the public safe. But as we’ve seen, the policing of our population often has an extremely tenuous relationship with the concept of public safety.
Prisons are, second of all, for ensuring that people who do cause harm to society can atone for their crimes and improve themselves in the bargain. Recidivism is a symptom. It’s a sign that we live in a country that doesn’t care about its neighbors and would rather sweep its problems under the rug than solve them for good. We can do a lot better.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Gif of the Day


No U.S. Presidential Candidate Is Worth Worshipping

Human beings really need to collectively do some soul-searching and generally think about how they form attachments and build a sense of identity. The so-called "stan" culture has been creating problems since long before the term came into being and we're really telling ourselves with the current term. As far as I can tell, and I've looked into this because I didn't want it to be true, the term "stan" really does come from the Eminem song "Stan" which tells the story of an Eminem fan of the same name who becomes so obsessed with his favorite rapper than he ends up killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend by driving off a bridge.

The song is absolutely meant to be a warning against hero-worship, and yet we use it to declare our allegiance to public figures. At first, it was largely applied to celebrities. But, of course, it has clearly spread to politicians.

You know I'm talking about the Bernie Sanders v. Elizabeth Warren thing. I really wish Liz's campaign had not decided to go this way. From what I understand, her campaign was the first to make the accusation, and Liz later confirmed it herself. But she also made it clear in the debate last night that she does not want to make it a thing.

Too late, it's a thing. After the debate last night, #NeverWarren started trending and I was ready to throw my laptop out the window and into the snow.

Look. It was understandable when it really looked like the DNC rigged the caucuses for Hillary Clinton. I understood the anger then, particularly as I felt it myself.

But this? Warren and Sanders are not even that different. I'm going to try and craft an in-depth comparison of the two over the weekend but what I expect to find is that Sanders is a little more to the left than Warren. But they're both progressives, with neither reaching the realm of actual socialism.

As someone who could actually be considered far-left, more interested in anarchism than socialism, they're both functionally the same to me. And they're certainly not worth dying for.

I'm convinced at this point that electoral politics can help mitigate harm but will not save us. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Elizabeth Warren can lift us out of the quagmire we've made for ourselves. They won't be able to overcome Republican fuckery in order to get the legislation we would need to pass to stop the climate crisis from reaching holy fuck proportions.

I'm old enough to remember thinking Obama would solve the country's problems. I thought we were on a path to somewhere incredible. Look what happened.

Did Bernie say a woman couldn't win the presidency in 2020? Maybe. I don't fucking know. None of us will ever know for sure. Maybe he did and forgot. Maybe there was a misunderstanding in the conversation. People are insisting that "one of them is lying" but guess what, there are other options. Wires get crossed in discussions all the time. Maybe Bernie was disagreeing to something that Warren thought was the possibility of a female president in 2020 but that he thought was something different. Maybe neither of them is an asshole.

But we can't know for sure. Is Bernie sexist? Yeah, of course, he's a man who was raised in a sexist society. Is Warren antisemitic? Again, yeah, of course, she's a Christian raised in an antisemitic society.

Bernie has already said and done problematic shit, just like Warren has. And this isn't even that bad. If Bernie had straight up come out and said "yeah, I don't think the American public is un-sexist enough yet that we could elect a female president in 2020," I would have been like "okay there's a good chance you're right but you, as a man, should not be discouraging any woman from running" and then he would have been like "oh that wasn't my intention at all, look at all these times throughout the years that I've encouraged Warren to run for president" and I would have said "oh cool yeah, well, man sexism sucks" and he would have been like "word."

That's how my conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders would have played out.

The point is that neither Bernie nor Liz is worth this shit. This is about harm reduction. Fight for your preferred Democratic candidate until the nomination and then please don't throw us all to the wolves unless you have an actual good reason not to vote for whoever it is, like being a Native person who can't stomach voting for Warren.

At the very least, become an actual anarchist and do real work in your community to reduce harm and vote for nobody because you don't believe in participating in a system that is this fucking mess.

Okay???? Later.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Gif of the Day

I have no idea what's going on here, I just know it's gay.

Here's The Solution To The Warren vs. Sanders Problem

Alright so some bullshit feud between the Warren and Sanders camp has popped up and I'm already starting to see another four years of Trump in our future. Apparently, Warren came out to say that in a 2018, closed-door meeting between the two, she said that she thought a woman could win the presidency in 2020 and Sanders, quote, "disagreed."

So now the Bernie stans are all "WARREN IS LYING, BARNIE WOULD NEVER SAY THAT."

And the Bernie haters are all "SEE, BERNIE IS A MISOGYNIST."

Now, you know me. Staunch, unforgiving feminist ready to punt any man into the sun the moment he displeases me. I'm kidding, of course. That only applies to rich white able-bodied cis men. BUT I do not buy that Bernie Sanders thinks that women aren't fit to be president of the U.S. because he thinks we're inferior to men. If he said that, I'm sure he meant that due to rampant sexism in the country that was a large part of the reason Hillary lost, it's not likely that a woman could be elected in 2020. It's going to be even harder in 2020 than in 2016, because the incumbent always has the advantage.

However. I am still not a fan of men saying this shit to women under any circumstances. And we can talk about whether Bernie really believed that or if he just said it because he really really really wants to be president and this is probably the last time he can run. At the same time, we can also talk about how the fuck are we supposed to know who's telling the truth here?

But I'm already fucking tired of this. Bernie and Liz aren't that different. I know their stans are going to yell and scream that they are but I'm done. You can all shut the fuck up. I have the answer.

Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Sanders. Rock fucking paper scissors, flip a coin, one potato two potato, whatever the fuck chance game to determine who runs for president. The other is your running mate. Together, destroy Biden and then Trump. The end, bye, everybody shut up, SHUT UP I SAID.

We're done here.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Gif of the Day

This is a repeat but I love it too much for words, also today's theme is birds, apparently.

Direct Action: Vulture Poop Edition

This is too funny.

Feces from a giant kettle of vultures is disrupting CBP communications on the US-Mexico border

The birds in the Texas tower have been roosting there for more than six years, a CBP spokesperson told Quartz, adding, “They will often defecate and vomit from their roost onto buildings below that house employees and equipment. There are anecdotes about birds dropping prey from a height of 300 feet, creating a terrifying and dangerous situation for those concerned.”


First of all, if CBP employees don't like the smell of 10,000 corpses or the threat of rotting meat bombs, they should totally quit their jobs. Secondly, the article explicitly explains how you can attract flocks of vultures to certain areas. I wonder how difficult it would be to sneak some placenta into the area of CBP radio towers?

Regardless, thank you for your service, comrade vultures.

(The internet is weird.)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Gif of the Day

Anybody notice how baby Yoda's partial blinking makes him look more like a cat?

Republicans Without PTSD Can Shut The Fuck Up About PTSD

Republicans are attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar again during just about the worst time to do so, and based on the very fact that it's the worst time to do so, because Republicans are the worst, what else is new?

If you can't view it, Rep. Jim Banks tweeted the following:

Rep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s “stricken with PTSD” because of recent events in the Middle East. 
This is a disgrace and offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.

There's so much wrong there in just two sentences.

Not only does Jim fucking Banks, not have PTSD nor the credentials to diagnose someone with it or even speak about it, he's also incorrect in suggesting that only soldiers get PTSD. The disorder can occur in anyone who has been through something traumatic, and being a refugee, as Rep. Ilhan Omar is, is pretty much inherently traumatic.

Obviously by "stricken" Omar didn't mean she had come down with PTSD at that very moment, but was feeling the effects. What she probably meant was she had been triggered, but you can't fucking use that word anymore because of RIGHT WING SHITS WHO RUINED A SIMPLE CLINICAL WORD FOR THE REST OF US FUCK YOU VERY MUCH.

Why are people like Jim Banks allowed to be in charge.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Gif of the Day

I cannot tell if this is real or not. Like, did Prince Ken or whatever really dance like that in the Barbie movie?

Why Do Your Allergies Get Worse Every Year? Tree Sexism.

Okay, I'm gonna tell you right now, that headline is misleading. But the very idea had me rolling last night after I came upon it in the middle of scrolling through a Twitter that was absolutely laden with news about the Iran missile strikes and the looming war and speculation on the terrible places we're headed. So, you know, maybe you need a laugh, too.

Yes, it's true, cities have been planting only male trees. All this time I had thought that the increase in pollen in the air to the point that it coats the car and is giving even people who never had them before allergies was due to global warming. While that still may have been a factor, the biggest reason was apparently that cities think female trees "litter" too much with seed pods and stuff and they didn't fucking think ahead.

Arborists often claim that all-male plants are “litter-free” because they shed no messy seeds, fruits or pods. In the 1949 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, which focused on trees and forests, this advice was given to readers: “When used for street plantings, only male trees should be selected, to avoid the nuisance from the seed.” In the years following, the USDA produced and released into the market almost 100 new red maple and hybrid-maple-named clones (cultivars), and every single one of them was male.

Not just city planners, even. Arborists. The USDA. None of them considering where the fuck all the pollen from the "male" trees would go if there were no "female" trees around to suck that shit up.

So this wasn't the result of direct sexism, just another case of how humans fail to consider the ramifications of their fucking with nature all the goddamn time. However, Jessica Price does make the case that the idea of female trees being "messy" could still be tied to real human sexism. And she does it in a really funny way.

I lost it at "jizz pollen on your car & nostrils."

Thank you, Jessica Price, for this comic relief in the middle of what was a generally very bad day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Gif of the Day

I could really use a kitten forehead to stroke.

Seattle Police: The Picture of Neoliberalism

Now that I'm feeling better, I can tell you about the white nationalist rally and counter-protest that happened in Seattle on Sunday. It's been quite a few months since I've been to one of these, and for the most part, very little was different. The MAGA folks and Three Percenters and Proud Boys were up in the elevated area in front of City Hall, the SPD had them barricaded away from the liberal/socialist counter-protesters chanting and picketing and from a separate group of black bloc antifa folks.

What was different is that the SPD has ramped up its police presence and aggressive tactics. They still face both the black bloc and the peaceful protesters with their military-style riot gear with their big wooden batons held in front of them in a clear message of intimidation and threat.

Nothing much happened until after about two hours, I'm guessing around when the hate group meet and greet was scheduled to end, when the cops started working to split the counter-protest group up and push us far away from City Hall as the white nationalists started to leave. I'm sure the SPD's excuse is to make sure that nobody from the two groups crossed paths to prevent fighting, but in the meantime they arrested four antifa and/or regular counter-protesters and shoved a 70-year-old woman to the ground for reasons that are a complete fucking mystery.

So many cops descended upon the protesters, who had done nothing at all to even cause trouble, that I'm left wondering whether they had any left to make sure that the Proud Boys and members of the violent anti-government militia didn't hurt random bystanders in the area as they left.

It was also just bizarre and disturbing to watch what this city has become. The militarized boke cops using their bikes to aggressively herd protesters is such a perfect picture of faux progressive, neoliberal Seattle.

Seattle: Our police reduce emissions by oppressing you on and with bikes!

Maybe the weirdest part was when I heard one group of these cops shout at each other like a sports team right before a game starts, saying shit like "good verbals, guys!"

These "verbals" came in the form of the line of bike cops aggressively shouting "MOVE BACK" every time they shoved their bikes forward at the reluctantly retreating crowd of protesters. You can hear and see all this in some video I got:

The video doesn't really do justice to how forceful and intimidating these shouts were. But you can see how much they operate like a military force, in spite of the fact that the group they were facing was small and mostly regular, non-black bloc protesters. Not a threat to them. But we were treated like a threat, at best. It felt more like we were being treated as dangerous animals. I have to seriously question whether these cops view any members of the public as human anymore. We were treated as hostile and they acted like this ridiculous shouting was some kind of favor to us so that we would know for sure what they wanted us to do.

It was degrading and dehumanizing and bizarre and absurd and fucked up.

But what was most fucked up was this:

Gee, why do people hate the police?

What was also incredible was simply she sheer volume of cops. All in all I wouldn't be surprised if there was a cop there for every counter-protester. Is that fucking necessary? How much did that cost? Maybe the SPD is getting a bit too much money if they can spare all those officers for an uneventful protest that was only at all noteworthy because of the fucked up actions of the cops. Maybe Seattle should use some of that money to help the homeless or fix its fucking shitty roads.

I mean:

It's too many cops.

Every day this country feels more like a police state. Fuck the police.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Gif of the Day

Representation of my will to blog on my period after a night of having a migraine.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Gif of the Day

Resist the urge to post a gross joke about "World War III" by looking at this vibrating fluff ball.

What You Need To Know About The Upcoming War With Iran

So this is happening.

The first thing you should know is that in spite of trending hashtags, this is very unlikely to be World War III. It's much more likely to be the Iraq War Part 2, or, more accurately, a simple continuation of the never-ending wars in the Middle East demanded by the endless maw that is the military-industrial complex, which owns the United States of America.

You won't be drafted. That would be massively unpopular. Wars are not like they used to be.

Here's what is likely to happen:

  • Many thousands of Iranians will be killed, mostly civilians.
  • Millions will be displaced, lose their homes, and have their lives thrown to absolute shit.
  • Some U.S. soldiers will be killed, others will commit war crimes only to be pardoned by Trump if they're punished at all.
  • Hollywood will make shitty, masturbatory movies about it in 5-10 years.
  • Incalculable effects to a climate that is currently burning down the entire continent of Australia.

Why did this happen? It has little if anything to do with the actions of the man we assassinated. It was almost certainly a ploy by Trump and his supporting Republicans to create more support for him in the months leading up to the 2020 election. You can tell because theRE'S A TWEET.

Actually there's like four tweets this time.

Much of the mainstream media which is supposed to be critical of Trump is playing right into his hands, like CNN calling Qasem Soleimani the world's #1 bad guy when none of us knew his name 24 hours ago. He was a convenient target and they took the opportunity.

Will there be a retaliatory attack on U.S. soil? I'm not sure about that, but I'm pretty sure it would be very difficult for Iran to pull off. Any attacks are likely to be tiny in scale compared to what we will do to them. But anything that does happen will be used to drum up more support for Trump.

Another thing we can expect is increased violence toward Muslim individuals in the U.S. and abroad. Keep an eye out for bullshit and be prepared to stand up for your Muslim neighbors. We may also need to prepare for accusations of antisemitism if you don't support the U.S. slaughtering many thousands of Iranians for political points and oil.

It's another year in the United Shits of America.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Gif of the Day

I don't get the reference, I just want that stuffed animal.

Political Bullshit To Watch Out For In 2020


Happy New Decade! It's an election year, so regardless of the outcome, there's going to be more than the usual political hell. As more Democratic candidates drop out (RIP Julian Castro), we're already seeing bot accounts and general bullshit surging on social media, and the best way to combat bullshit is awareness.

I'll probably be doing a number of posts on this subject, but let's start with the recycled Bernie Sanders issue. Just like in 2016, there's a split between more centrist liberals and die-hard Bernie fans and both sides are being fucking horrible about it. Whether you support Bernie or not, you need to be aware of two key bits of bullshit happening right now.

The first is a right-wing attempt to smear Bernie Sanders as being antisemitic. And yes, Bernie is Jewish. Worse, to counter the obvious point of "uuuhhhhhh he's fuckin' JEWISH," some of the far-right is trying to claim that he's not REALLY Jewish because blah blah blah the reasons don't matter, any of this kind of shit is antisemitic. Me and my fellow gentiles, especially, do not get to decide who is Jewish enough or whatever, nor do we get to decide if/how Bernie should act if one of his staffers or supporters does or says something antisemitic, and we don't get to decide what is or isn't antisemitic.

There is such a thing as internalized bigotry, but any of this kind of rhetoric coming from someone who is not Jewish needs to be shut the fuck down.

Secondly, people are already noticing the emergence of mass numbers of Twitter bots dedicated to sowing hatred between Black and Jewish communities. Keep an eye out for accounts claiming to be of Black individuals being grossly antisemitic as well as accounts claiming to be of Jewish individuals being grossly anti-black. One of the latter in particular was so egregious that even CNN picked up the story.

A fake Twitter account stirred tensions between Jews and African Americans. Trolls celebrated.

The trolls were of the 4chan variety, of course.

"As a fellow Jew who was frightened by the string of anti-Semitic attacks, I am frightened," the fake account, which used the name "Elaine Goldschmidt," tweeted Wednesday. Using the n-word to describe black Americans, "Goldschmidt" added they "were supposed to be on our side. Now, we have lost control of them."

This is not to say that Jewish individuals can't be racist or that Black individuals cannot be antisemitic, but if you see something particularly heinous, check the account first. Check the date the account was made, do a Google search on the profile image, and generally be suspicious. We can't stop trolls and bots from happening, but we can lessen their effect by being diligent. With a little work, we can make sure 2020 isn't a repeat of 2016. I hope.