This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
Install Theme
When you are 9, or 12, or 17, it is easy to overlook racist comments. That your friends’ dad does not like black people has little to do with what your friend thinks, right? When you cannot yet vote, the fact that your friends’ parents are Republicans means little. With age, these things start to matter. At 25 or 32, it is harder to overlook the inevitable racially ignorant comment that will come, especially when you have had access to friendships where this is never an issue. At 30 or 35, the fact that your white friends now vote Republican alongside their parents strikes you as a choice that detrimentally impacts your material existence.
Don’t lose too much weight now… I like my girls chubby.

Actual quote from a male Senator to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (via micdotcom)

But there’s no need for feminism now.

(via cactustreemotel)

I knew a professor at an Ivy who was very blatantly sexually harassed by a famous emeritus professor at a faculty party. Ask any woman in any field and she’ll have dozens of similar stories.

(via aka14kgold)

California Takes a Stand Against Gay and Trans Panic Defenses in Criminal Cases →

mickyalexander:

Yay :)

(Source: projectqueer)

Here’s some fantastic news for your Friday: On Thursday, the California Senate unanimously approved a new bill that defines sexual consent as a firm “yes” rather than a lack of “no.”

micdotcom:

This is a big win for anti-rape activists, many of whom have been touting the necessity of an “affirmative consent” standard for years. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has the next month to sign the bill into law. If he does, schools across the state would be required to define consent before engaging in sexual activity as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” or risk losing state financial aid funding.

(via wretchedoftheearth)

liberalsarecool:

Republicans only want to help those who do not need help, and hurt those who are looking for equality.

liberalsarecool:

Republicans only want to help those who do not need help, and hurt those who are looking for equality.

(via aka14kgold)

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government…

Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

(via sociolab)

spillboy:

More proof that Paul Ryan is a despicable human being.

This is actually consistent with Ryan’s philosophy that no one should be compelled via taxation to help others. He believes this should be wholly voluntary. 
Of course, voluntarism is an inefficient, inadequate method to address big, entrenched, systemic problems. People suffering from debilitating conditions should not have to come up with cute ad campaigns or have photogenic advocates in order to attract adequate public interest and funding.

spillboy:

More proof that Paul Ryan is a despicable human being.

This is actually consistent with Ryan’s philosophy that no one should be compelled via taxation to help others. He believes this should be wholly voluntary.

Of course, voluntarism is an inefficient, inadequate method to address big, entrenched, systemic problems. People suffering from debilitating conditions should not have to come up with cute ad campaigns or have photogenic advocates in order to attract adequate public interest and funding.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

How many of these police killings are there? →

Apparently, no one has any idea. And when an enterprising reporter attempted to find out, it turned out it was nearly impossible:

“The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this project is something I’ll never be able to prove, but I’m convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.”

[…]

Ponder this: our government is systematically collecting vast amounts of data and information on US citizens and foreigners around the world and analyzing it for threats. But it is not systematically collecting or analyzing information of US citizens killed by government authorities and actively blocks citizens who try.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(Source: questionall)

The poor man who takes property by force is called a thief, but the creditor who can by legislation make a debtor pay a dollar twice as large as he borrowed is lauded as the friend of a sound currency. The man who wants the people to destroy the Government is an anarchist, but the man who wants the Government to destroy the people is a patriot.

William Jennings Bryan,  Principal Speech Against Unconditional Repeal (16 August 1893).

Still relevant.

"…Rich people don’t riot because they have other forms of influence. Riots are a class act.”

Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But nobody wants more Michael Browns either. And those two things – the violence of the state and the violence of the street – are connected. “A riot,” said Martin Luther King, “is the language of the unheard.” The people on the streets don’t donate thousands of dollars to anyone’s campaign. They don’t get a seat at any table where decisions are made or have the ear of the powerful. But with four black men killed by the police in the country in the last four weeks, they have a lot to say, and precious few avenues through which to say it. The question now is who’s listening.

Libertarians are the new confederates

And here’s another chapter in the perennial debate about conservatives: stupid or evil?

Paul Ryan offered his opinion on federal intervention in Ferguson:

"There is no problem with the federal government having a role," he said. "But in all of these things, local control, local government, local authorities who have the jurisdiction, who have the expertise, who are actually there are the people who should be in the lead."

He said that today. Has he literally been hiding under a rock?

  • Missouri Governor Jay Nixon took his sweet time before doing anything about Ferguson. When he did choose to act (by imposing a curfew), he made things even worse. Local leadership!
  • Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said today that he wants “Anglo American justice" for Ferguson. Local solutions!
  • Ferguson’s mayor, James Knowles, has denied there is or ever has been a “racial divide” in his city. Local insight!
  • A Missouri GOP official has described the effort to register more voters in Ferguson as “disgusting" and "inappropriate". Local politics!

At this point, the only reasonable conclusion is that the local authorities in Missouri and Ferguson are clueless and repulsive. Yet Paul Ryan thinks they should be given the lead to resolve a situation they themselves have created and escalated.

So….is Paul Ryan a dumbass?

I don’t think Paul Ryan is a dumbass, but he often sounds like one. In this instance, he’s chosen to ignore U.S. history and everything that has happened in Ferguson lately because it is evidence that not only conflicts with his ludicrous political philosophy, but destroys it.

But I don’t think it’s just a case of cognitive dissonance. No one who remains a libertarian past the age of 19 or so can be trusted because, in this country, quite a few self-described “libertarians” would be better described as neo-Confederates. Many of these same ‘libertarians’ are even bringing back antebellum classics like nullification.

No, Paul Ryan isn’t a dumbass. Paul Ryan knows what he’s doing.

Terrible Florida Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids At Park While Getting Them Food →

Let’s make sure we have the law straight: If you’re a poor mother, you can be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kids alone while you go to a food bank so you can feed them, go to a job interview (so you can feed them), or work (so you can feed them).

These arrests are part of the terrible trap we’ve set for impoverished parents:

In the mid-1990s, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation into law that changed welfare in America profoundly. One of the major changes welfare reform brought about was the work requirement. Now, even women with young children were required to be working, or looking for work, in order to receive benefits. In a radio address after signing the bill, Clinton promised that if poor people went to work, “we will protect the guarantees of health care, nutrition, and child care, all of which are critical to helping families move from welfare to work.”

We broke that promise. State and federal childcare spending last year fell to the lowest level since 2002. Much of the money available for childcare comes to states through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or today’s version of welfare, but TANF hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since 1996. It’s lost a third of its value since then. The money spent on childcare has declined from a high of $4 billion in 2000 to $2.6 billion in 2013. That means fewer and fewer children get subsidized care. The number of children served by subsidies is at the lowest level since 1998. In [Shanesha] Taylor’s home state of Arizona, childcare spending has been axed by 40 percent, dropping 33,000 kids. In [Debra] Harrell’s, it was cut by more than 30 percent, dropping 2,500 children.

We’ve also taken the rug out from under any mothers who might need assistance because they can’t find work or the work doesn’t pay enough. In 1996, welfare reached 72 percent of poor families with children. That had dropped to a mere 26 percent by 2012.

So when a homeless mother needs to go to a job interview or a mother making less than $8 an hour needs to go to work, what options have we given them? Few, if any.

Military weaponry makes a bad situation much worse, but the core problem is still police forces that have nothing but contempt for the populations they’re supposed to “protect and serve.” By all means criticize the hardware — but the real problem isn’t going to go away if the use of that hardware is dialed back, because cops will treat civilians they despise with contempt using whatever’s at hand. And if Paul’s fellow libertarians get us talking almost exclusively about gear and government, then they’ll have successfully diverted the discussion onto their turf, for their ends. We mustn’t let that happen.

Steve M., reminding us that Amadou Diallo and Rodney King were brutalized with what were basically glorified sticks. The pricey military gear makes it easier for the police to monitor and attack larger numbers of civilians at one time, but it’s the institution itself—its bigotry, authoritarianism, and lack of accountability to the public it professes to serve—that is the real problem.

never understand where the “as a taxpayer” types are after high-profile incidents of police brutality

jakke:

The Ferguson police are a public service that’s spending a ton of money forcibly intimidating the residents and restricting media access and protecting their total impunity rather than suspending the officers responsible without pay and cooperating with an external inquiry. If ever there were a totally wasteful and self-interested government agency, it’s the Ferguson police right now. And there are so many pundits and think tanks and elected officials who make a career out of loudly criticizing misallocation of government resources, but somehow they’re all totally silent on this one.

The criminal justice system is working perfectly as far as those “as a taxpayer” people are concerned. They’re not the ones being harassed and assaulted by the police—the folks they’re scared of (black people, poor people, queer people, immigrants, etc.) are. These “as a taxpayer” types probably think outfitting cops with paramilitary gear so they can more effectively terrorize minorities is a great use of their tax dollars.

And the “misallocations” of government resources that these same people tend to be focused on are welfare programs for those same despised minorities. Agricultural subsidies that mostly benefit white farmers and artificially raise the cost of food? Fine. Food stamps to help struggling families afford to eat? NOT FINE WHAT ARE WE SOVIET RUSSIA