lagilman: (dissent)
So, noted white supremacist and general PoS Richard Spencer is giving a speech at the University of Florida, in Gainesville. And the University, in a rather amazing show of WTFkery, has allowed Spencer's camp to screen journalists, only allowing "approved" ones press access. Their excuse "they rented the hall, it's their event."

Apparently, University of Florida is disclaiming any responsibility for anything that happens within a rented hall on their property. That can only end well, don't you think? I wonder what their journalism department has to say about freedom of the press, these days? (feel free to ask them)

But! There is a bright light in Gainesville (actually, quite a few, but one I'm showcasing in particular). Alligator Brewing Co.

If you bring in a (free) ticket to the abovementioned event, before the event, you can exchange it for a beer, thereby a) getting a free beer and b) leaving an empty seat in the hall, as they will dispose of said ticket.

Alligator, in the name of decent folk, beer drinking or otherwise, everywhere, we salute you. 
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
 Washington State's voter pamphlet has arrived. I'm preparin' to do my thing for Democracy and Sanity....
(yes, this state sends you a pamphlet a month before the election, with all the issues and candidates up for decision, so you have time to actually look at things and learn about them before you MAKE your decision....

And then you can mail it in, and track your vote all the way to the counting pile.

Oh, and we use a Top 2 Primary system, rather than a party nominating system. So the general election is not inevitable R vs D, but "the two candidates out of the whole pack who got the most votes in the primary."

Washington State's not perfect, but it's got a pretty decent handle on this democracy thing, right now.
lagilman: (dissent)
In case - among the visual horrors of the California fires and the abandonment of Puerto Rico, as well as the destruction of our environment for financial gain of corporations and shareholders, you missed this tidbit:

45's regime is attempting - despite there being no actual science to support it- to define life as beginning at conception.

Yanno, if you're going to claim religious exemptions for employers to not pay for birth control, and why abortions should be limited, then you need to either a) allow those of us whose religion ALLOWS contraception, and abortion, and protecting the health of the mother above all else - to have religiously-protected access to same, or b) admit that you're angling for a Christian theocracy, and your "freedom OF religion" really means "bow to MY religion."

In this, as in so many other bullshit ideologies being pushed by Pence et al.


 Also, Trump has apparently tweeted (what else) that NBC should lose their broadcast license for, um...being critical of him, apparently.

He seems to have forgotten (or not actually listened to) part of the oath he actually took in front of a scattering of witnesses:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.“

Including the 1st Amendment, not just the 2nd.

In response, the National Association of Broadcasters, who actually DO know their Constitution, issued the following statement:

“The founders of our nation set as a cornerstone of our democracy the First Amendment, forever enshrining and protecting freedom of the press. It is contrary to this fundamental right for any government official to threaten the revocation of an FCC license simply because of a disagreement with the reporting of a journalist.”
lagilman: (dissent)
I am always conflicted about Memorial Day. It feels like it should be more of a solemn observance still, not about picnics and sales. But that horse is not only out of the barn, he's so far down the road we can't see the dust by now.

But whatever you're doing to celebrate in the US today, remember to take a moment and remember those who died in military service (be it in war, peacetime defense, or that grey area in-between).

And IMO, the best way for politicians to honor the military dead would be to lay fewer wreaths, and spend more time working to ensure we have FEWER we must honor, going forward.
lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
Generally I abide by the "don't read the comments" rule of survival, but occasionally I dip in...and this morning was delighted to see commentary on a Daily Kos article break out into a discussion of Ayn Rand's literature and life, the evolution (sorry) of the term "social Darwinism" and a non-malicious breakdown of how incorporation is a government-supported security net an as such should be against the current GOP's stated principles...

And all of that without insults, straw men, or painful spelling errors!

(in fact, it took on the tone of a Sunday morning one-upmanship contest along the lines of "but wait!  I have another relevant fact on that!"  With emphasis on both relevant and fact.)
lagilman: Does Not Play Well With Stupid People (stupid people)
 I will not wade into arguments where friends are already doing the takedowns quite neatly. I will not wade into arguments where friends are already doing the takedowns quite neatly. I will not wade into arguments where friends are already doing the takedowns quite-

Lady, if you think the left and the right are, and I quote, "flip sides of the same fascist coin," you live in a little bubble of pearly-white privilege and I for one hope when it pops you land on your soft little head. Not that it will do much fucking damage

lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 I am sick (a mild, mostly-just-annoying cold), and exhausted, and cranky about politic, work, and people in general, except where I'm cautiously hopeful.

Part of me wants to dig in and continue to fight, and part of me wants to slip quietly off the grid.

I've accepted, however that the only time I'm good at quietly slipping away is when leaving a party.  When it comes to life, I'm pretty much of the dig in and fight variety.

And so, we fight.

How to save the Affordable Care Act (again).  Because if we don't speak up, they will screw kill us in the name of corporate profits.

And if you care about the fate of non-salaried workers, call your congresscritter TODAY and speak out against the Working Families Flexibility Act (House: HR 1180; Senate: S 801).  They claim it will provide workers with families more flexible schedules, but what it really does is allow employers to avoid overtime pay, and undercut the ability of the DoL to investigate abuses, rolling back decades of essential labor regulation.  This may affect you, or your kid, or your cousin, or someone you never met but who is working their ass off to make ends meet, already, and doesn't deserve to have the deck stacked against them even MORE...

lagilman: (dissent)
What frustrates me about too much of the world (and specifically the American populace, since that's what I'm dealing with) is that there are SO MANY ways to get involved in the world, to try and change things for the better, and yet people are still "well, I'm upset, but I'll post about it, or make a comment somewhere else, and that's enough."

No, it really isn't.

Change isn't a passive event.

"Oh, but doing X would cause problems, it's difficult, it's inconvenient."

Dog knows, I've been guilty of that myself, more than once.

Yeah, shit's annoying, it's inconvenient, it's scheduled at a bad time, or it causes traffic jams. 

Protest is supposed to be disruptive, and upsetting. It's meant to force everyone out of passive acceptance and drive us to ask "what is this anger about? How can we fix it, so there's less anger "- and so they will stop being inconvenient, yes. 

And yes that means forcing ourselves to act, not just the people who haven't thought about it before, or were standing in opposition.  Good intentions and righteous anger don't do shit on their own.


And I was originally going to make this a private post, but you know what?  No.  I feel like yelling this from my porch.

*taps mic*

Feb. 23rd, 2017 11:39 am
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

reposting this from my Tumblr account


Since there seems to be some outraged confusion among Anons and Nonnys, let me clarify.

If you support the Trump/Pence/Bannon regime’s attempts to isolate, persecute, and otherwise remove basic civil and citizen’s rights from entire groups within our society, based on who they are rather than dealing with individual behavior on a case by case basis, yes I do think you’re behaving in a shitty and morally bankrupt manner, I find you personally distasteful, and I consider preventing you from carrying out your agenda(s) to be a moral obligation of a civilized nation.

And history’s got my back, on this one.

lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

So, over the weekend, noted piece of shit Milo Yiannopoulos officially expanded his shittiness by stating that he advocates for sex with underage partners, and doesn't believe in this silly fiction of "age of consent." Adults having sex with (extreme) minors? Fine by him.

This goes beyond 'freedom of speech,' however much I abhor words that come out of his mouth. This is a man advocating sexual abuse of children (and, possibly, depending on how you read his words, having endorsed and enabled same).

His defense is that he wasn't talking about pedophilia because that's about attraction to someone without secondary sexual characteristics, but if they're sexually mature at an early age (male or female), that's ok.

And still, the CPA (Conservative Political Action Conference) is featuring him as a guest speaker, and S&S is giving him a book deal. If his contract with S&S is standard, there's a clause in it that would allow them to break that contract, if they chose to, at this point. We'll see if they choose to. Obviously, as an S&S author myself, I hope they do.

I have no expectation of CPA revoking their speaker invitation: they knew what he was when they invited him, and they seem perfectly comfortable with that being associated with them. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong, however.

Ironically but not unexpectedly, his racism and anti-semitism barely made a ripple in conservative circles, but this seems to have upset them. Because white Christian children are suddenly at risk, too. /bitter AF

lagilman: (dissent)
(now-former) AG Sally Yates.  Remember the name. Fired for upholding her oath rather than obeying unlawful orders.  More courage in that woman than the entire GOP Senatorial roll call.

"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

Nowhere in that oath does it reference obedience to the president. The AG does not serve the president.  The AG serves the Constitution, and the people for whom it was written.

Sally Q Yates is an American hero.
lagilman: (dissent)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- Emma Lazarus

We either lift our lamp, or we shutter it and admit that we live in darkness.

I choose light.

Someone on Friday tried to tell me "this is about terrorism."  That person had never been directly impacted by terrorism (I asked).  Me?  I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11.  I saw the second plane hit the side of the Tower, staring out my office window. I smelled the air and heard the sirens, and the terrible silence after.  I read the newspaper lists, and found names I knew among the dead. 

You react to terrorism one of two ways.  You embrace anger because it makes you feel less afraid, or you accept your fear and work through it.  The former feeds the engine of terrorism.  The latter starves it.

I will not feed that engine.  Not with myself, and not with my neighbors.

lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

This is a war. Some of us volunteered, some of us got drafted, and some of us got run over by the front. But we're all in it.

You just have to choose where you stand.

And today, before I go off to pour wine for folk, I'm writing a check to the ACLU, as promised: $2 for every hardcover and $1 for every trade paperback I signed this weekend at Mysterious Galaxy (and at Borderlands Books, just for the hell of it).

Because in this war, rangers and lawyers are our first line of defense.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
And I'm too exhausted to say it.

Discussing politics tonight with a co-worker.

Her: "Oh, well, I don't know much about X, but I'm sure it will be okay."
Me: *long stare*

She says her sister gives her the same long stare. Me, I'm thinking maybe there's a hint here she should be taking....?

History of two hundred-plus years rattling in my brain, the experience of generations that tell us "this is bad, this never works."  I'm trying to find something pithy to say, something wise, and tight, but all I can think is, "and this is how America fails." 

Dear World: if you are kind, remember us when you say your prayers, and send us strength for the fight.
lagilman: (dissent)
Disclaimer: this is written from the perspective of a white-but-minority person. It is not intended to speak for anyone else.

I will not wish anyone a "Happy MLK Jr Day."

MLK Day is often observed not as a holiday but a work-day (particularly this year), and "happy" feels out of place while we're still trying to reach those goals of being judged by our behavior rather than our presentation. When even those of us who consider ourselves moderately enlightened still find pits of "oh fuck did I really just think/do/say that" in ourselves.

So instead I wish us good-working, and good companions in the work. Which sounds pretentious af, but is heart-felt.

Dr. King's Life and Legacy
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
All White House press conferences are to be referred to as "Radio Moscow."
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

To the surprise of nobody who has been paying attention, the GOP is going ahead with their plan to repeal the ACA, or strip it down to uselessness. And, as of this moment, they still haven't offered up a replacement plan. So, if they succeed:

if you have a pre-existing condition (anything from arthritis to cancer, and including pregnancy!), you're screwed.

if you are low-income, and were depending on subsidized insurance to make sure you and your kids were covered? You're screwed.

if you're on Medicaid? You're screwed.

if you're 26 or under, and were counting on being able to stay on your folks' insurance while you get your career going? You're screwed.

if you were counting on insurance companies to continue carrying you/not jack up your rates five-fold after you make a claim? You're screwed.

if you have chronic illnesses and the undoing of caps on lifetime coverage will bankrupt you?  You're screwed.

You might want to call your congresscritters, especially if they're Red, and let them know that, until they put forward a plan that addresses these issues, repealing the ACA is NOT what you want.

lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Trump Team asks State Department to Name Those Working on Gender Equality.

via NPR and the New York Times:

"President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has asked the State Department to list its workers who focus on gender equality and ending violence against women, in what's being seen as an echo of an earlier request for the Energy Department to list employees who work on climate change.

In a brief email that was sent Wednesday morning, the Trump team asked the State Department's bureaus and offices to list any programs or activities that "promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women's participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc."

(emphasis mine)

I’m sure there’s nothing at all untoward about their request, any more than their asking for the names of scientists who went to climate change conferences was untoward.  Nope.  Nothing at all disquieting about the transition team’s interest, nope.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
I've mostly avoided talking about politics here (mostly) because I do that shit on Facebook and Twitter. But this article came up in my feed this morning, and it's...credible. And would explain Trump's need to strip-mine the country.

Since Donald Trump's surprise election one month ago, there's been a bubbling conversation about the mammoth conflicts of interest he will have if he is running or even owning his far flung business enterprises while serving as the head of state. I've suggested that the whole notion of 'conflicts of interest' doesn't really capture what we're dealing with here, which is really a pretty open effort to leverage the presidency to expand his family business. But a couple things came together for me today which make me think we've all missed the real issue.

Maybe he can't divest because he's too underwater to do so or more likely he's too dependent on current and expanding cash flow to divest or even turn the reins over to someone else.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
For those who're hewing to the fiscal side of the election more than the social:

"This morning, Moody’s Analytics released a report concluding that Clinton’s economic plan would create 3.2 million jobs and accelerate growth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). By contrast, earlier this month, a similar (albeit contested) Moody’s analysis of Trump’s economic plan estimated that it would reduce employment (by about 3.5 million jobs), reduce economic output, and prompt a painful recession."


Moody's assessment of Trump

Moody's assessment of Clinton


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

October 2017

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